Attention kids: read this with your parents.
As you get older, your parents or guardians will have a harder time controlling your screentime. It is up to you to make sure your screentime counts for something. Every family has their own house rules about screentime and every child in a family may have their own rules according to age. You will have access to screentime not only at home but at schools, libraries and friend’s homes. You are expected to make your own choices with screentime just like with what food you eat.
- Be honest with yourself as well as with parents and teachers. Games can be addictive; many forwardly claim to be so in their own advertising as a feature! Avoid letting yourself dwindle your time away. You may even want someone’s help controlling your screentime (or install an app to help yourself track your time).
- Your time is valuable so mindfully decide whether it is worth watching full ads for more credits or playing unstimulating mini games while waiting for items to unlock. If a game is worth playing, it is probably worth paying for the ad-free version.
- Your money is valuable, too. If all the features of a game are locked up in in-app purchases be mindful of how much you are spending overall. Many adults find themselves spending too much on such purchases.
- Choose enriching games, apps and shows in addition to the ones you find fun. You can learn an instrument, learn to mix music, improve your math, spelling, reading, learn to code. You should feel good about yourself, relaxed and positive. You should feel challenged but not feel angry or frustrated. If you get a headache or feel bored then find a new activity.
- Bullying and peer pressure exist in online communities just like all aspects of life. The difference is that online bullies can hide behind avatars and usernames and never face their victims. People can make multiple profiles and falsify information like age and photo. Talk to trusted adults as you normally would about issues like bullying. And, for goodness sake, don’t be a bully online or pressure your friends to use screentime if they choose not to. Respect people online just like in real life.
Enjoy your summer, enjoy the outdoors and please use your screentime wisely!