There are benefits to using technology both for play and learning. Using technology can help with creativity, problem solving, visual thinking and can make learning fun. Through technology children can connect with family and friends.
Technology should be used in moderation, with support and interaction from adults and with age appropriate activities. It is important that children take part in a balance of different non-screen activities too. Children, parents & teachers should be aware of screen time guidelines and the impact too much screen time can have on health & academic performance.
In the UK children aged between 5‐16 years spend an average of 2-3 hours per day watching television, 1-3 hours on the internet, 1-2 hour playing video games and over an hour on mobile phones (not talk), a total of 6.3 hours of screen time per day.
In Glasgow 96% of young people in S1 to S6 interviewed for the Health & Wellbeing Survey 2014, stated they spend between 1 to 16 hours a day in front of screens on a weekday.
Compared to those with lower levels of screen time, those with higher screen time levels were more likely to have taken drugs, drunk alcohol weekly or be a current smoker, and more likely to have participated in antisocial/risky behaviours. They were also more likely to have skipped breakfast and to have been bullied or have bullied others in the last year.
Time spent with screens is also associated with:
Children with 2 or more hours of daily screen time are more likely to have increased psychological difficulties, including hyperactivity, emotional and conduct problems, as well as difficulties with peers.
Young people who watch 3 or more hours of television daily are at especially high risk for poor homework completion, negative attitudes toward school, poor grades, and long‐term academic failure.
Young people with a television in their bedroom spend more time watching TV and report less physical activity, less healthy dietary habits, worse school performance, and fewer family meals. Children with a television in their bedroom are more likely to be overweight.