Reply to Screen time in technology-driven world...

It all really depends on the appropriateness of what it's being used for and the physiological abilities of children as they develop. When an adult watches a TV show, we see motion, but what is actually happening is a series of still images changing at 24 frames per second is flashing on the screen. Our brains take those still images and interprets the fast changes into motion, filling in the gaps with best guesses to make it seem smooth. Infants and very young children brains cannot do that yet. So they will see a series of still images flashing at 24 frames per second, which is basically just a super fast strobe light blasting them with garbled colors while they listen to disembodied voices saying things they cannot understand and have no visual clues to gain understanding from. The concern is as others have said, less face to face interaction, but it has been shown to also correlate to hippocampus development issues, affecting memory. Babies constantly want to interact with people, face to face. That doesn't mean that there aren't amazing apps that help with color and shape recognition, and problem solving skills, and creative expression that might not even be possible in the real world... But on the other hand sitting and being a non participating observer of a show provides no feedback or interaction. Worse if a device is being used by an adult around the child, especially if they want attention, is teaching them that the device is very important and something to want. Eventually if it's done too much, the child learns that asking for attention takes too long, but hitting you in the head with spaghetti or kicking over a lamp elicits immediate attention and alleviates frustration they have no coping skills to handle. The light generated by most screen devices is also heavy on the blue side of the spectrum, which can affect melatonin levels in the evening, negatively affecting sleep. My wife and I are far from perfect, but we try our best, and boil it down to a few simple rules. No screens for either me or my wife at meals, my son can watch a show at lunch only on his iPad. If we need to respond to a text or email, we leave the room to do it, and call each other out if we see it happening in front of him. We try to limit his screen time and if he's using a device on his own he must be playing an educational game of some kind, no shows alone. If he's watching a show, one of us watches with him and we talk with him about what is happening. Lately he's started asking me every morning to check the weather with him on my phone, which I find pretty cool. Face time Grammy? Almost everyday. For us the point is the interaction. We ask ourselves, is my son getting interaction or feedback from what he is doing right now? There's no concrete "yes it's good" "no it's bad", it's a decision everytime. And at some point they get old enough that they can sit and intelligently watch a show on their own, and think about what is going on.