Thank you for agreeing to participate in the “Be Screen Smart” project. There are many benefits to using screens/digital devices; academically, professionally and recreationally. However children & young people are spending too much time with screens. Young people need to be informed and supported in understanding the impact too much screen time can have on their health, relationships and academic performance.
It is important to assist young people and their families to find the right balance, fun and engaging alternatives to screen time, opportunities to explore their own ideas and creations, enjoy each other’s company and take pleasure in the world around them.
Youth Providers to make their service/youth group incorporate more screen-free activities and to discuss with young people the harm of spending too much time in front of screens.
National Youth Work Strategy
The National Youth Work strategy sets out outcomes for young people through youth work.
Outcome 5: Young people consider risk, make reasoned decisions and take control
Outcome 5 explores whether young people understand the consequences of harmful behaviour, know where to go to access information and support, and can assess that information to ensure it is appropriate and helpful. Outcome 5 also focuses on young people taking responsibility for the decisions they make.
By implementing the changes below within your youth establishment we hope to help young people understand the impact of too much screen time can have on health, relationships and academic performance and how to include more screen-free activities into their free time while cutting down on the time they spend on screen-based activities such as watching TV, surfing the internet and playing computer games or spending time on social media.
Young people can be empowered to understand the consequences of spending too much time on screens and take responsibility for the decisions they make about screen time.
To reach optimal results from the Be Screen Smart project your establishment could implement the following:
Introduce a monthly screen free night.
Run a 50/50 weekly night where during half the duration of your youth group/service screen activities will be off and the other half time screen activities could be on.
Encourage young people to earn screen time, so to get on the computers/screens young people would need to participate in non-screen activities to earn time on the computer/screens.
As you embark on this project please note that an enthusiastic attitude will help young people in their efforts to reduce the time they spend on screens for entertainment. If the youth worker also takes part in the project and reduces his/her entertainment screen time and shares his/her attempt to reduce entertainment screen time with the young people this will help in encouraging young people to do so too. Please also consider other ways your establishment can support this attempt.
Thank you for your commitment to improving the health of young people in Glasgow.
Health Improvement Team
(This resource has been developed by the North West Health Improvement Team for Glasgow City)