Are screens good or bad for kids? How safe is the Internet?
If you have kids in your life, these questions are of concern. All of this technology is so new. From the hardware to the software. We’re all confused… and everyone has an opinion. I’ve had parents come up to me, corner me and ask these questions. It’s a huge challenge. Why? Because as much as we try to protect our kids (from screen time to content to having these devices), all of us then turn around, put our hands into our pockets and tinker with our smartphones – more often than not for an unhealthy amount of time. Whether or not it’s a smartphone in our children’s future, it’s hard to imagine a world where some kind of connected device isn’t on them, a part of them and a critical part of their work and success in life. So, here we are. We’re trying to keep our children away from screens, while we keep using screens more and more. We try and get our kids to learn in other ways, while we all know that they will spend their days – like we do – with some kind of screen for the work that they do.
What’s right? What’s wrong?
There’s something bigger here to think about. As a marketer, we are often asked to create content and better connections with these personas. Kids, moms and dads. These are the holy grails of brands, when it comes to purchase and loyalty. Yalda Uhls is an award winning child psychological researcher and expert in how media affects children. Her new book is, Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact Not Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age. She also does research with UCLA and works with Common Sense Media (which, if you have kids, is an amazing app that tells you which content is appropriate for which age). In her former career, she was a movie executive at MGM, New Line and Sony. She is also a mom of two digital teens. In short, she gets it. And, she recently gave an in-depth presentation at the Google office in Los Angeles. It’s about an hour long, and it’s a fascinating look into who we are, the kinds of kids we are raising, what this digital technology and media is doing to our families, and how our lives have been forever changed.
How are things going to be for all of us – especially our kids – moving forward? Watch and find out…