November 28, 2022

Tech Talk - Active vs. Passive Screen Time

Welcome to Tech Talk! As we head into the long weekend break, many parents wonder about how much time their children are spending on screens over the break. It is an important question, and you may have heard how bad screen time is for children. An important thing to learn is there are two types of screen time, which have very different effects on children.  

One type is passive screen time, which is basically media consumption. Think about how easy it is to get involved in YouTube or Tik Tok, then realize that hours have passed and you didn’t get done what you wanted.  This is passive screen time. Think of this as the junk food of screen time. We know it’s not good for us, but we consume it anyway. When you consume too much, it is unhealthy and can have damaging effects on our bodies and brains. Limiting passive screen time for children allows them to learn moderation and the importance of physical exercise and play.

Another type of screen time is active screen time. The word 'active' says it all. With active screen interaction, either your brain or your body is being activated. Coding is a great example of this. When coding, children are creating, problem-solving, and building logic skills that will benefit them down the road. Video creation is another great example. Have your child use their toys to create a stop-motion animation video. It’s fun, but also requires the ability to plan, script, and problem-solve.

So when you hear about the dangers of screen time, realize that not all screen time is created equal. Encourage children to use their screen time to create instead of consume. Coding a game instead of just playing one. Creating a video instead of watching. These types activities bring joy as well as help children build confidence in their skills.

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