Here's how much screen time doctors say is healthy - KCTV5 News

Here's how much screen time doctors say is healthy

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Nowadays, everyone is using some sort of technology. Babies and school-aged children grow up using iPads, teens have video games and cell phones and adults are constantly trying to stay connected. (KCTV5) Nowadays, everyone is using some sort of technology. Babies and school-aged children grow up using iPads, teens have video games and cell phones and adults are constantly trying to stay connected. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Technology is a big part of our everyday lives. So much so, that doctors are concerned about the amount of screen time people have daily and the effects it has on us.

Nowadays, everyone is using some sort of technology. Babies and school-aged children grow up using iPads, teens have video games and cell phones and adults are constantly trying to stay connected.

For some, it’s hard to resist the urge to use it.

“I actually have to turn it onto priority only and then kind of put it a few feet away from me to kind of like make sure I don’t go and grab it when I study,” Randi Cline said.

“Outside of work, probably, it depends probably three to five times an hour,” Sharon Hanson said.

Stephen Lassen, a pediatric psychologist at the University of Kansas Health System, says adults check their email on their phones every 4.3 minutes.

“That is really scary to think about how much time is being consumed looking at these things, interacting with these things,” Lassen said.

Lassen says many studies suggest technology and Internet addiction sometimes mimic symptoms of withdrawal from substances like drugs and alcohol.

“Is this something that is getting in the way of sleep, is it something certainly for kids we see a lot of kids struggle academically when they’re using electronics too much, is it affecting relationships?”

Lassen says doctors recommend children under 18 months have no screen time, kids age 2-5 have one hour and anyone over 5-years-old has two hours per day max. But that doesn’t match current usage.

“When I don’t have my cellphone, I feel super disconnected like what if a meteor was supposed to hit, and I’m not going to be able to call anybody,” Cline said.

“The minute somebody else’s phone buzzes, it’s just like an automatic tick in your head, like what was that?” Hanson said.

That feeling is real. Lassen says there’s something called fear of missing out. He says depression, anxiety and lower self-esteem are linked to increased social media use.

“An interesting study actually found that individuals experience more depression when they viewed their own Facebook profile because they could see that it was not all that their life really was,” Lassen said.

He says people with a family history of addiction of any kind seems to be at higher risk of technology addiction, that’s especially for kids because their brains are still developing.

It is a big concern for researchers is the way it affects human interaction.

Cline says that’s exactly why she tries to fight her addiction, but she admits, it’s not easy.

“I feel like people don’t really know how to communicate that well or face-to-face because they feel more comfortable speaking their piece when they have a username to hide behind, and I feel like conversation is becoming a lost art,” she said.

Lassen says there is a way to combat technology addiction. You must manage so it doesn’t manage you. He recommends setting limits and having tech-free zones at homes because every hour spent with technology is an hour taken away from something else.

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