If you’re a parent, an educator, or somebody who spends any time around kids, you’ll be well aware of the screen time debate. When it comes to children’s development, screen time is a hotly contested issue – even more so since the world was forced into quarantine. As our lives seemed to revolve around screens more than ever, ideas of what constituted a healthy amount of screen time began to change.
But despite top tech leaders admitting that they keep their own kids away from the very devices they make, screens are here to stay. Of course, not all screen time is equal. There’s a big difference between online learning during the day and gaming, or scrolling Tik Tok into the early hours. But in order to make informed decisions about the screen time boundaries we want to put in place, it’s good to know what we’re up against.
Our friends Juan and Noor over at Bagby were excited to tell us about a recent experiment they carried out at home, using their 2-year-old daughter, Luna, as the subject. Luna, who had already had some previous contact with smartphones was provided with a series of choices between everyday items – or an iPhone. Which would she prefer? The results may or may not surprise you…
Young children don’t often make rational decisions because their choices are based on very simple terms. The fact that Luna chose the smartphone every time shows that she values it more than the other options she was given.
“The outcome was so clear that we had to do something about it,” says Juan, “it was the ultimate validation of our hypothesis that smartphones are designed to keep us hooked and have the potential to impact our future choices. The concerning aspect here is not only the fact that addictive technology exists, but it’s designed in a way to influence our future decisions – even from an early age.”
Since then, Juan and Noor have heavily reduced Luna’s screen time and set a benchmark for their newborn, Cala. Along with this decision, they decided it was time to create a tech-free solution that could help parents navigate the screen time dilemma.
This became a new Bagby product, the Better Screen Time Family Set, mindfully designed to keep all family devices out of sight and out of mind, whenever necessary. Chalkboards were added to give an interactive element of “gamification” for kids, and as a nod back to the analog days of learning.
“Technology is such a powerful tool, so I believe teaching kids to be more mindful about screen time is a formula for success. I believe being able to control technology use will become one of the most sought after skills in the next 10 years,” continues Juan. “Not only are we teaching our children valuable lessons for their professional careers, but they will grow to be happier, freer, and more understanding of the meaning and value of humanity. How we prepare our kids today will shape the world as we know it, so it’s time to start building a mindful legacy today.”
Learn more about Bagby and their mindful products at https://bagby.co/.