I have to fess up that technology and I have a love/hate relationship and moderating my screen time is generally not a concern. However, now that I’ve had almost two weeks experience in self-isolation with a garden variety viral respiratory infection, I am certainly learning more about ways to manage remotely both personally and professionally. The upside is that technology is becoming my friend and I am on a steep learning curve.
Having spent many, many hours in front of the computer screen over the past week and much time to ponder, I relooked at MPC: Digital Technology Statement and I think it’s still ‘on the money’.
One of the parts that is so significant for right now:
As Chip Donoghue, a world renowned early childhood and technology researcher, responds when asked about screen time for young children, “It depends”. This technology statement is in response to the complex and ever-changing nature of technology and aims to be a tool to support decision-making when considering the needs of individual children, the community of children, families and educators.
I love “It depends”. This statement was written collaboratively in 2017 and could now do with a review. Who could have imagined in 2017, the world we are currently living in. Who would have thought that being a vital means of social connection would be one of technology’s greatest purposes!
That being said, Chip reminds us to think about:
• Screen use rather than screen time: when; where; how; what (content); are relationships being supported.
• Technology is neutral how we use it is the question.
• All screens not considered equal.
I think all these considerations as well as the prompt questions in the statement are worthy of thought in the context of these current times. What we may consider appropriate at other times does not necessarily fit ‘right now’. With the incredible stress load on families at the moment, I think it’s important everyone gives themselves a break from judgements about screen time. I’m going to do the same!