Digital Tween Craze

Michelle Verne

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Dear Student-parents at CSUN,

If there’s a child in your family that’s reaching the tween stage, then you might find that they’re starting to spend too much time with technology.  My son is almost 13, and this past year I’ve noticed that his interest in new digital technology has blossomed.  At times, it can be difficult to try to pull him away from the techno craze and to get him interested in the tangible hobbies he had before.

Once I noticed the digital obsession start to take over, I knew it was time to set limits that would help him to manage his new fascination.  American teens spend an average of seven hours a day outside of class either on the computer, smart phone, iPod, or on forms of social media like Facebook and MySpace.  Although there haven’t been any studies in regards to how or if this effects teens, it’s important for parents to make sure their child gets a healthy balance of activities during their daily life.

Awareness is the key to keeping your child get in gear and to be ready to except a variety of productive activities throughout life.  Be aware of the type of digital experiences your child is getting into and before attempting to purchase new technological items be sure that you know how to use them as well as he/she does.  Make sure to set time limits before you even make the purchase.  Also explain the importance of communicating with friends and family face to face instead of just using social media.  Help them to become engaged in other activities, such as sports, so that they realize how important it is to be physically fit as well as mentally stimulated.  Taking the time to balance out a child’s extracurricular activities, will benefit the whole family in the long run.