LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Media use for tweens and teens has grown faster during the two years of the pandemic than it has over the four years before the pandemic began.
8 News Now spoke with Dr. Suzanne Barchers, an expert with LingoKids, on how to establish healthy boundaries, in a world where media use is higher than ever.
Dr. Barchers points to a recent survey from Common Sense Media which explores children’s phone and tablet usage and their parents’ approach to online safety.
The survey found that more than 66% of parents report that their kids have their own handheld devices. It also found that one out of every three kids downloads apps without any adult supervision.
Barchers tells 8 News Now, as parents, and even grandparents need to shift their thinking.
“Think of website activity the same as we think of putting on bicycle helmets, car seats, seat belts, all those things that take constant monitoring,” she said.
Teens, ages 13 to 18 years old, now spend nearly an hour and a half a day using social media. The most popular by far is Instagram and Snapchat compared to Facebook, Discord or Twitter.
Watching online videos on Youtube is the favorite activity among 8 to 18-year-olds, appealing to both tweens and teens, boys and girls, and across racial and ethnic groups and income levels.
Barchers also said that when it comes to any type of social media and internet usage, adults need to monitor all accounts and get passwords. If adults need help having to explain why she has some tips to help.
“You say we’re going to be in control of this, just like we control who your friends are, where you go after school, when you go to bed, this is our responsibility as an adult and we take it seriously because we want you safe,” she added.