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Managing your screen time | Kid's Corner
School has started, and everyone is getting back into the swing of things.
Each year brings more work and responsibility, plus extracurricular activities.
Part of what you are learning in school is time management. Not just in the classroom and with homework, but with other things too. Things like video games and screen time.
When it comes to technology, kids today have so many options: they can surf the Internet, play video games, go on social media websites, watch TV, etc.
Despite all these websites and games, kids have to learn to manage their screen time.
To learn about the technology habits of local middle-schoolers, I asked 10 kids from my neighborhood and school to fill out a survey.
In this anonymous survey, only half of the kids who responded said that their parents knew what they were doing online and supervised their use of the Internet.
None of the kids had Facebook accounts, but the majority had at least one online account.
Seven of the 10 kids said they were allowed on social networking sites.
Fortunately for parents, 100 percent of the kids said their parents knew about the websites they had accounts in.
Seven out of 10 kids said that their parents had rules about what websites they can go to.
The survey indicated that kids spend two-and-a-half hours per day using technology unrelated to schoolwork.
Based on the survey results, more of that time is spent playing video games than surfing the Internet.
In an article for Common Sense Media, Caroline Knorr suggests that kids should set a timer reminding them to take a break.
“Most games don’t have built-in endings and are, in fact, designed to make kids play as long as possible,” Knorr said.
Although half of the kids surveyed said their parents don’t always pay full attention to what they do online, kids understand that there are rules.
As one boy said, “My parents trust me to use my good judgment.”
Parents struggle to find the right approach to supervising kid’s use of the Internet.
Noelle Beams, a Kirkland parent said, “There are so many things to do beyond watching television and sitting in front of a computer.”
Beams encourages her 10-year-old daughter, Sophia, to make good choices by limiting her screen time to 20 minutes a day.
Between sports and music lessons, hobbies and homework, Sophia has to make a choice between using her time to play with her friends or play video games.
Sometimes, playing “one game” can turn into playing until you win.
You could be watching one thing on YouTube and 12 videos later, you realize you have wasted an hour of your time.
Being more aware of your screen time is the first step to managing your use of technology.
Allison Hoff is an 11-year-old Kirkland resident.