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The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life

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"Blending scholarly evidence and the experiences of numerous families, The Art of Screen Time is a well-researched and reassuring guide to raising kids in a world where technology is everywhere." -danah boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens Finally there's a no-nonsense, don't-panic, evidence-based guide to one of the biggest challenges facin "Blending scholarly evidence and the experiences of numerous families, The Art of Screen Time is a well-researched and reassuring guide to raising kids in a world where technology is everywhere." -danah boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens Finally there's a no-nonsense, don't-panic, evidence-based guide to one of the biggest challenges facing parents today: managing a world where screens are everywhere we look. With this book, Anya Kamenetz--a journalist, an award-winning expert on both education and technology, and a mother of two young children--takes a refreshingly practical approach. She surveys both the experts and hundreds of fellow parents to find out how they really manage screensat home--for their children and themselves. Cutting through a thicket of inconclusive studies and overblown claims, she hones a simple message, a riff on Michael Pollan's well-known "food rules": Enjoy Screens. Not too much. Mostly with others. Realistic, wise, and disarmingly candid, The Art of Screen Time shows us how to set aside our digital anxiety and create space for a happy, healthy family life.


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"Blending scholarly evidence and the experiences of numerous families, The Art of Screen Time is a well-researched and reassuring guide to raising kids in a world where technology is everywhere." -danah boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens Finally there's a no-nonsense, don't-panic, evidence-based guide to one of the biggest challenges facin "Blending scholarly evidence and the experiences of numerous families, The Art of Screen Time is a well-researched and reassuring guide to raising kids in a world where technology is everywhere." -danah boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens Finally there's a no-nonsense, don't-panic, evidence-based guide to one of the biggest challenges facing parents today: managing a world where screens are everywhere we look. With this book, Anya Kamenetz--a journalist, an award-winning expert on both education and technology, and a mother of two young children--takes a refreshingly practical approach. She surveys both the experts and hundreds of fellow parents to find out how they really manage screensat home--for their children and themselves. Cutting through a thicket of inconclusive studies and overblown claims, she hones a simple message, a riff on Michael Pollan's well-known "food rules": Enjoy Screens. Not too much. Mostly with others. Realistic, wise, and disarmingly candid, The Art of Screen Time shows us how to set aside our digital anxiety and create space for a happy, healthy family life.

30 review for The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Lewis

    Finally, a well-researched, non-guilt-tripping book about screen time that takes into account the realities of modern families' lives. I loved the pragmatism. Well-written and readable. I've adopted much of the author's advice since reading this excellent book. Finally, a well-researched, non-guilt-tripping book about screen time that takes into account the realities of modern families' lives. I loved the pragmatism. Well-written and readable. I've adopted much of the author's advice since reading this excellent book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book can be summed up in the quote the author adapted from food writer Michael Pollan: "Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others." It is full of research studies and is presented in a readable manner. I received an ARC from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 30, 2018. This book can be summed up in the quote the author adapted from food writer Michael Pollan: "Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others." It is full of research studies and is presented in a readable manner. I received an ARC from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 30, 2018.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I've been following Kamenetz since the publication of DIY U, which I highly recommend to anyone who has a stake in college and university life in the United States. Seriously. Stop reading this review and go get it right now, Nammy. Kamenetz's usually hard-hitting, no-nonsense tone has softened a bit in this new book. Parenthood can do that to you, as I have learned. The overall tone of the book aims for balance, but I think it strays a bit too far on the side of permissiveness. I was surprised a I've been following Kamenetz since the publication of DIY U, which I highly recommend to anyone who has a stake in college and university life in the United States. Seriously. Stop reading this review and go get it right now, Nammy. Kamenetz's usually hard-hitting, no-nonsense tone has softened a bit in this new book. Parenthood can do that to you, as I have learned. The overall tone of the book aims for balance, but I think it strays a bit too far on the side of permissiveness. I was surprised at the resignation coming through in many of the passages, even though it was once in a while tempered by things like "we once thought smoking was too big an issue to take on, and we have culturally completely reformed our habits in that regard." The central analogy of the book is that screens are like food. There are healthy, nourishing kinds of food, and then there are take-out and drive-through meals. No one dies from eating a single Whopper, so we should probably all chill out. And for heaven's sake, we need to stop shaming people when a Happy Meal seems like the best option they have; it's certainly better than starving. I get that, mostly, but I think it plays into most middle- and upper-middle class people's (the target audience) ability to rationalize and make excuses for their shortcomings. In way, she has to take that position, because we all have an awful lot of screen-related shortcomings. So it does make sense to say that the data is inconclusive about how harmful it is or how helpful it might be. The publishing bias means that more negative stories are printed than positive ones, but even without the formalized, university-based strong arm of research, most people need to look no further than their habits to see that what they thought was a tool is really a crutch. It's just hard to say that without freaking people out, especially vulnerable parents of young kids, among whom Kamenetz counts. So she doesn't see it. Instead of relying on decades of research by Sherry Turkle, whose studies Kamenetz deems "anecdotal and over-interpreted" (I've read them and disagree), she defers to the opinions of danah boyd, an anthropologist who works for Microsoft, though that last bit is left out. boyd's positions seem to me far more anecdotal than Turkle's, but they are more palatable, so they seem to win out. Despite the skew toward permissiveness, I think Kamenetz gives a lot of actionable steps that parents can take to establish a more meaningful family life, one that is less dominated by passive forms of digital consumption. The last three pages of the book are the TL;DR list of suggestions, so if you're interested, have at it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Clara Biesel

    I loved it. Helpful, important, and inspirational.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dan Nolting

    Anya Kamenetz is a great writer, but early on in the book she goes after my beloved Sherry Turkle, which enticed me to scrutinize every word, sentence, and source in search of a weakness. But alas, I could not find too many. This is the guidebook parents we need for now if you are looking for a touchstone in dealing with digital anxiety. But since I took the devils pill, here are my nit-pics: There are one too many product comparisons, bordering on subtle endorsement. This book is American centere Anya Kamenetz is a great writer, but early on in the book she goes after my beloved Sherry Turkle, which enticed me to scrutinize every word, sentence, and source in search of a weakness. But alas, I could not find too many. This is the guidebook parents we need for now if you are looking for a touchstone in dealing with digital anxiety. But since I took the devils pill, here are my nit-pics: There are one too many product comparisons, bordering on subtle endorsement. This book is American centered - nothing from Asian or African communities who deal with the same issues. Despite calling Turkle “Antidotal,” the author (self admittedly) packages her research with speculative analogy. Doesn’t deal with the white elephant in the room: negotiating with a whining adolescent over where to put their eyes. But this book isn’t about controlling behavior- it’s about what you can do now, based on analysis from all of the experts in the western world, written in a way that informs without terrorizing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amie

    Is it the best. Book. Ever? No. But it does exactly what it sets out to do and explains what research actually says, and does not say about the effects of screen time on kids, as well and discusses what various experts say about their research and what they do about screens in their homes. Realistically looks at the fact that mobile devices and the internet are not going away and real people use them for good purposes throughout the day. A TL;DR section at the end summarizes the book nicely if s Is it the best. Book. Ever? No. But it does exactly what it sets out to do and explains what research actually says, and does not say about the effects of screen time on kids, as well and discusses what various experts say about their research and what they do about screens in their homes. Realistically looks at the fact that mobile devices and the internet are not going away and real people use them for good purposes throughout the day. A TL;DR section at the end summarizes the book nicely if storylines, anecdotes and quotations are not your thing. Personally, I am not going to worry about any screen time when it is being used as digital paper; ie, reading a book, looking up cool facts, or learning how to do something, unless it’s too close to bedtime. Interactive use will be prioritized above passive use, but I’ll keep an eye out for games that become compulsive. Devices should be charged in the kitchen. This goes for my kids too. ;)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Brooks

    Having just taken a class all about the effects of the media, both good and bad, I found this book to be an interesting discussion about how to parent while using media effectively. Some of the most compelling points include the idea that media is not bad in and of itself, but how we use it makes all the difference. If we let it control our lives at the risk of losing the relationships with those around us, that's a problem. If we ban all media from entering our homes, that's a problem as well. Having just taken a class all about the effects of the media, both good and bad, I found this book to be an interesting discussion about how to parent while using media effectively. Some of the most compelling points include the idea that media is not bad in and of itself, but how we use it makes all the difference. If we let it control our lives at the risk of losing the relationships with those around us, that's a problem. If we ban all media from entering our homes, that's a problem as well. We must learn how to use media effectively, to use it as the tool that it is, and to be aware and open about our own usage so that we can teach our children about media in a healthy, constructive way. Also, if parents stick their heads in the sand for how their children use media, that's not great. YAY FOR NOT DEMONIZING MEDIA BUT USING IT IN HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE WAYS!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Wiser

    As someone who must have at least a light addiction to technology, I found this book very interesting. Kamenetz really focuses on the advice: "Enjoy time with screens; mostly with others; not too often". When she focuses on that thesis, I find the book to be really good. I also appreciate how often she reiterates that some studies don't necessarily prove casualty and reminds parents that are no perfect solutions and most parents are just doing their best. I found the most interest part of the boo As someone who must have at least a light addiction to technology, I found this book very interesting. Kamenetz really focuses on the advice: "Enjoy time with screens; mostly with others; not too often". When she focuses on that thesis, I find the book to be really good. I also appreciate how often she reiterates that some studies don't necessarily prove casualty and reminds parents that are no perfect solutions and most parents are just doing their best. I found the most interest part of the book to be the confessions of inferiority she feels when reading mommy blogs and Instagram-famous mom accounts on social media. Honestly really good stuff that made me think a lot about myself my coming son.

  9. 4 out of 5

    nicole

    I’m really into this book, though the last third took forever to get through due to grant writing and the second season of Riverdale. I appreciate the takeaway - enjoy screens, not too much, mostly together - and have been trying to be better about my own usage/expectations with the girls. The food allergy and baby led weaning comparisons were helpful mindset focusers too. The education section broke my heart a little but she’s not wrong and I am trying to be more intentional about when/how I in I’m really into this book, though the last third took forever to get through due to grant writing and the second season of Riverdale. I appreciate the takeaway - enjoy screens, not too much, mostly together - and have been trying to be better about my own usage/expectations with the girls. The food allergy and baby led weaning comparisons were helpful mindset focusers too. The education section broke my heart a little but she’s not wrong and I am trying to be more intentional about when/how I incorporate tech into our lessons.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    “Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others.” With this quote (adapted from Michael Pollan) as a guiding principle, the author offers a balance of research and reassurance. My big takeaway is to stop assuming that the screen time rules that work for other families, or that are prescribed by the so-called experts, are necessarily right for us. Each family is different, each kid is different, and finding that right balance will be unique for each family.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ariana deVries

    Insightful book, but I couldn’t seem to finish it. The concept was one I felt would have been better summed up in an article. I definitely agree with what she has to say, and it did help me to be more aware of digital media in my life. However, for me, it was like preaching to the choir.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Equally fascinating and frightening.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate Puleo Unger

    I read this book after changing the screen time rules in our house. I was curious about other’s ideas on the topic, and I’d heard about this book from two sources recently. Anya starts the book with the research on the impact of screen time on kids, which is rather scarce and unreliable. Then she shares her own theory about screen time, which I found rather interesting and valid enough. She says screens are kind of like junk food. It’s all about moderation and not abstinence. Sort of like dieting I read this book after changing the screen time rules in our house. I was curious about other’s ideas on the topic, and I’d heard about this book from two sources recently. Anya starts the book with the research on the impact of screen time on kids, which is rather scarce and unreliable. Then she shares her own theory about screen time, which I found rather interesting and valid enough. She says screens are kind of like junk food. It’s all about moderation and not abstinence. Sort of like dieting vs. avoiding cigarettes all together. She shares stories from her own family and data from an extensive survey she conducted online. And she also talks about adults’ use of screens. I discussed more about my impressions about this book on my other blog, Mom’s Radius. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/recen...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    *Update* This was a breezy, non-judgy and up to the minute take on how to maintain balance with regard to media. Overall, a good read with a simple message, a riff on Michael Pollen's food rules, "Enjoy screens, not too much, mostly with others." Really enjoying this one. So far, it has addressed technology use across early childhood, relevant to me as a new parent, and in schools, relevant to me as a public school employee. The next section addresses adult use of screens *gulp.* *Update* This was a breezy, non-judgy and up to the minute take on how to maintain balance with regard to media. Overall, a good read with a simple message, a riff on Michael Pollen's food rules, "Enjoy screens, not too much, mostly with others." Really enjoying this one. So far, it has addressed technology use across early childhood, relevant to me as a new parent, and in schools, relevant to me as a public school employee. The next section addresses adult use of screens *gulp.*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leah Agirlandaboy

    This is good for what it is (a current affairs/tech book), but I expected it to be more of a “how” book about parenting strategies than a “what” book on the state of media today. The author isn’t giving parents advice but rather collecting research for them, and while I like her balanced approach, this isn’t the book it markets itself as, and most of the research points to things that are fairly obvious and self-evident (e.g., screens aren’t toxic in and of themselves, and parents should be thou This is good for what it is (a current affairs/tech book), but I expected it to be more of a “how” book about parenting strategies than a “what” book on the state of media today. The author isn’t giving parents advice but rather collecting research for them, and while I like her balanced approach, this isn’t the book it markets itself as, and most of the research points to things that are fairly obvious and self-evident (e.g., screens aren’t toxic in and of themselves, and parents should be thoughtful about why and how much their kids use screens). The last chapter, titled “Tl;dr,” is a 3.5-page summary of the rest of the book, and I didn’t find any of it new or particularly revelatory. Still, this is full of good research, and I can see it being helpful for (a) parents who haven’t really thought about this stuff before or (b) parents who are looking for research to cite when arguing about screentime with co-parents, other caregivers, or older children.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Owlish

    "'Sleep is one of the most fundamental things for learning,' pediatrician Dr. Jenny Radesky told me. It particularly affects the consolidation of memories, which is especially important for kids. 'You need to put the Jell-O in the fridge overnight and let it set.'" p. 22 "We are all to some extent victims of the fact that doom and gloom gets clicks and eyeballs. 'The news media focuses on harms. Which is reasonable, because if there are harms we should know about them. But those negative reports "'Sleep is one of the most fundamental things for learning,' pediatrician Dr. Jenny Radesky told me. It particularly affects the consolidation of memories, which is especially important for kids. 'You need to put the Jell-O in the fridge overnight and let it set.'" p. 22 "We are all to some extent victims of the fact that doom and gloom gets clicks and eyeballs. 'The news media focuses on harms. Which is reasonable, because if there are harms we should know about them. But those negative reports tend to drown out the overall pattern.'" p. 50 "When hit with 'Why? Why? Why?,' parents should absolutely pull out their phones and consult Wikipedia or YouTube to satisfy curiosity together." p. 69 "Forget about blanket screen time limits, at least for kids above age seven or so....That's much less important than understanding what's happening with their media use. It's a huge opportunity for learning, civic engagement, discovery of passions. The online world is what you make of it and you have to, as a parent, guide kids to the positive." p. 79-80 "Keep screens out of the bedroom and turn them off an hour before bedtime, sleep researchers say. Also, there's a wide consensus that family meatime shoudl be screen-free as a rule...focus on making an hour of outdoor time or other physical activity a priority." p. 113 "An emerging thread of research suggests that mothers multitask more than single women and more than fathers. They do so both at home and at work. At home we do more of the chores, particularly more of the mental tasks of managing and organizing calendars, schedules, and to-do lists. At work we are highly productive employees. And all the time we report being more tired and needing more sleep. To be in mama bear mode, constantly scanning the horizon for opportunities and threats, also makes us more prone to depression and anxiety. And those conditions too can drive us right back to our phones." p. 156 "'Less work for Mother' will never come about because of tenchological advances alone. It will happen because of a frank renegotiation of household tasks between opposite-sex partners, and also more social supports from government and employers." p. 157 "Developmental psychologists argue that self-regulation is a core capacity for an effective and happy life. In order to develop it, children need support in developing awareness of their surroundings and their feelings. They need a vocabularly to express what's going on around them and for them, and the security and support to know that they can express hard emotions and develop strategies to manage them. This will in turn enable them to maintain calm in challenging situations and to defer gratification so they can reach challenging goals. The danger is that quantification-- grades in school, a sticker chart at home-- interrupts this process by imposing an external meter. We or our kids set our minds to gaming the system, rather than deciding for ourselves the right thing to do." p. 210 "For older kids, discuss what is happening in the story and how characters feel, talk abotu their favorite discoveries on social networks, or learn from them how to play a video game. Ask 'What did you see online today?' just like you ask 'How was school today?'" p. 223 "From an early age, encourage creativity and expression as part of your child's media use. This could be anything from decorating greeting cards using the Paper app, to a coding app like ScratchJr, to using YouTube to research how a volcano works." p. 224 "The goal is to raise responsible kids in an atmosphere of trust and support. Surveillance won't achieve that. Treat online social spaces much as you would kids hanging out at a friend's house-- trust, verify, and then respect their privacy." p. 224

  17. 5 out of 5

    cobwebbing

    I don't have children, but I'm interested enough in digital minimalism to give this one a shake. I'm glad I did! There were some unique perspectives brought on by the parental lens applied here. The emphasis on watching media together and discussing it was particularly interesting. My parents and I religiously watch and discuss Great British Bake Off and it very much feels like a version of what was advised here. I get the feeling that Kamenetz shied away from some topics that would be more infla I don't have children, but I'm interested enough in digital minimalism to give this one a shake. I'm glad I did! There were some unique perspectives brought on by the parental lens applied here. The emphasis on watching media together and discussing it was particularly interesting. My parents and I religiously watch and discuss Great British Bake Off and it very much feels like a version of what was advised here. I get the feeling that Kamenetz shied away from some topics that would be more inflammatory to her audience and gave them a brief overview (see: the oddly brief discussion about explicit content online). That said, she did still talk about it to some extent, just not as much as, say, kids having parasocial relationships with fictional characters or AI. There were some topics that, like in Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, I wish had had more time/discussion. Fandom culture, for example, is something that kept me hugely tethered to tumblr for years after that website ceased to function properly (if it ever did, lol), but it was only offhandedly mentioned and framed in a wholesale positive way. Don't get me wrong, I loved/love fanfic, but I think there's a little more nuance to the conversation than "kids are creating things for stuff they like = good" without examining how certain aspects of fandom can hamper creativity. Maybe this is just a sign I should read a book about fandom. Also, very little discussion of YouTube????????? Second-most viewed website in the world?????? Weird. I enjoyed the sections talking about parents' methods for raising their children with technology and was interested to see that a good deal of it matched up with my parents' sensibilities (e.g. time-based limits except on weekends/vacations). I was also interested in the discussion of how technology affects infants specifically and the arbitrary "no screens until two" rule. Overall a good one and possibly my favorite on this topic so far thanks in part to the level-headed framing of the conversation rather than scare tactics about melting kids' brains.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Brooks

    I had high hopes for this book, written by an education journalist for NPR whose articles I generally enjoy. I expected a lot, which is perhaps why I feel so let down. The first half of the book didn't tell me much I didn't already know: Screen time can have negative effects on kids . . . maybe? We can't really do hardcore studies for ethics reasons, and a lot of the research that's out there is fuzzy at best. Everyone seems to be taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach, including the AAP, whos I had high hopes for this book, written by an education journalist for NPR whose articles I generally enjoy. I expected a lot, which is perhaps why I feel so let down. The first half of the book didn't tell me much I didn't already know: Screen time can have negative effects on kids . . . maybe? We can't really do hardcore studies for ethics reasons, and a lot of the research that's out there is fuzzy at best. Everyone seems to be taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach, including the AAP, whose infamous "no screens under age 2" guideline was apparently totally arbitrary and not backed by evidence. The problem with this approach is that it leaves parents feeling guilty for offering any screen time at all. Who knows where the invisible line is that could cause screens to wreck your kid forever? It's this question that Kamenetz tackles in the second half of the book, and it's here that I was disappointed. Although she does away with the guilt many parents experience, her takeaways aren't anything most of us haven't heard already: "Try to engage in shows with your kids." "Educational apps aren't always all that educational." "No screens before bed or at the dinner table." "Encourage creativity using technology and learning skills like coding." This book offered less of a conclusion for parents trying to balance screen time in a positive way and more of the same shoulder-shrugging we see everywhere. I wanted the author to offer her own opinion more strongly, to take a stance rather than continuing to quote experts with opposing viewpoints. It's not a bad introduction to thoughtfulness around screens if you're a parent who has given literally no thought to the topic. It's pretty repetitive for parents who have already explored the options for screen time with any amount of intentionality.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy Shea Adams

    This book caught my eye at the library and so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve never been worried about my kids and screens. It’s the reality of this world. Screens are part of my work and their school and I strongly believe that if they don’t know how to use technology it will set them behind. But I have family that feels differently and you can feel their judgment on us. We rarely use a screen as a babysitter. And we set consistent limits on YouTube and the like. But we (the grownups) often hav This book caught my eye at the library and so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve never been worried about my kids and screens. It’s the reality of this world. Screens are part of my work and their school and I strongly believe that if they don’t know how to use technology it will set them behind. But I have family that feels differently and you can feel their judgment on us. We rarely use a screen as a babysitter. And we set consistent limits on YouTube and the like. But we (the grownups) often have the TV on as background noise and we’re regularly reading on our phones (news, books, etc; but you my not know what I’m reading from afar). It would be hypocritical to say “no screen” to the kids when I have a screen in my hand. I really like that this is not just the author’s opinion but is many opinions, including those of actual experts (e.g., medical doctors, psychologists, etc) some conflicting but still well researched. Overall, I reflected on my own screen usage in their presence (it may not change but I’m more aware) and I was able to get some good ideas that go with our existing parenting style. I don’t want to police my children - now or in the future, unless they give me a reason to not not trust them. But engaging with them about media use (be it YouTube, Netflix or a video game) similar to the way we engage about a soccer game or concert really makes sense. Advocating curiosity in an undoubtedly tech savvy world rather than fear will only help my kids and we can’t escape the fact that we live in an internet based world. So let’s worry more about doing something good and useful with that time instead of exactly how much time we spend at the screen.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    The tagline of this book says "How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life", but there's not much insights about how you can actually do this. Instead, the bulk of the discussion is about how schools were using EdTech, and by that extension, screen time - in schools. It's a digression and should probably be the topic of another book. Certain parts of the book are terribly hard to read (i.e. boring) because they are like a long blog post filled with research statistics and reporting, oft The tagline of this book says "How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life", but there's not much insights about how you can actually do this. Instead, the bulk of the discussion is about how schools were using EdTech, and by that extension, screen time - in schools. It's a digression and should probably be the topic of another book. Certain parts of the book are terribly hard to read (i.e. boring) because they are like a long blog post filled with research statistics and reporting, often accompanied by the author's own "unscientific survey" and anecdotes. "A lot of research, in order to get published, they focus on the harm." This particular quote by Dan Romer, director of the Adolescent Communication Institute at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, probably underlined the author's mindset. Central to Romer's observation is that experiments that show correlations between screens and negative effects receive more attention than experiments that show nothing conclusive, and those that show benefits are less likely to be conceived or conducted in the first place. It is with this belief that the author tends to diss research that is in favour of the former. Using the example of "The Mom with Her Phone at the Playground", the author raised concerns about distracted parenting, but then quickly sounded defensive in the rest of the chapter (Chapter 7).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Cornwall

    Full disclosure: I am childless. Take that as you will. I found this to be a fabulous book that walks a middle path between technophobia and technoutopianism. The author is a mother and reporter who did a lot of research and interviewed experts holding a variety of opinions. She also surveyed hundreds of parents and seemed to have interviewed dozens of them. What emerges is a book that carefully lays out the evidence for the harms and benefits of screen time, distinguishes between types of scree Full disclosure: I am childless. Take that as you will. I found this to be a fabulous book that walks a middle path between technophobia and technoutopianism. The author is a mother and reporter who did a lot of research and interviewed experts holding a variety of opinions. She also surveyed hundreds of parents and seemed to have interviewed dozens of them. What emerges is a book that carefully lays out the evidence for the harms and benefits of screen time, distinguishes between types of screen time and asks parents to inventory and be wise about their own screen time. The book has an extensive notes section and a good index. Throughout the book Ms. Kamenetz emphasizes the desirability of parental involvement while recognizing limits on parents due to work and stress. She offers practical suggestions for talking about what kids are doing on the internet without putting them under surveillance. There are also joint activities proposed. Along the way she examines types of parenting and questions the extreme "attachment parenting" that has generated a lot of "mom shaming." If you're looking for a clear-headed examination of issues surrounding children's use of electronic devices, tips on parenting kids in a digital age or even a reality check on your digital usage, I think this book is for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    As many others have shared, I found this book to be a calm and well reasoned approach to finding a way to live in a screen dominant world. While this book is definitely geared towards families with children, I do think it is a worthwhile read for those without kids or in other stages of life. I thought the layout of topics she covered was wide, and that the chapters flowed in a way that made sense. Just when I would start to think "Ok, but what about...?" the next chapter would address that issu As many others have shared, I found this book to be a calm and well reasoned approach to finding a way to live in a screen dominant world. While this book is definitely geared towards families with children, I do think it is a worthwhile read for those without kids or in other stages of life. I thought the layout of topics she covered was wide, and that the chapters flowed in a way that made sense. Just when I would start to think "Ok, but what about...?" the next chapter would address that issue. Issues covered in this include management of screen time (should you do it via time limits or contents, should it be reward based, should it be free from scrutiny), education and screens (including apps that can be used at home, and how education is pragmatically being used in many classrooms for good and bad), how to bond through screen time, and parental use and guidance. I think my review would be closer to 4.5 out of 5 stars. Many people knocked stars off because of her criticism of Sherry Turkle, who I have not read. However, I found the data that Kamenetz presented about how we just DON'T know what kind of damage our new social, screen-centric society is causing to be very compelling. Overall, an excellent and quick read for anyone (aka everyone), who exists in a world with screens and wants to examine their choices.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    “Enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together.” I found this book to be well-researched and reasonable and reassuring. Technology/screen time is a real issue for all modern families, and I felt like her approach offered real information without all of the panic and controversy that is often prevalent in social media (truthfully, the effects of screen time are very difficult to research). Basically, screens are here to stay, and we can use common sense and embrace the good that they have to offer “Enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together.” I found this book to be well-researched and reasonable and reassuring. Technology/screen time is a real issue for all modern families, and I felt like her approach offered real information without all of the panic and controversy that is often prevalent in social media (truthfully, the effects of screen time are very difficult to research). Basically, screens are here to stay, and we can use common sense and embrace the good that they have to offer, remembering moderation and a focus on priorities (moving our bodies everyday, encouraging creativity and pro-social behaviors). She encourages families to engage in media together, and to establish family guidelines for proper media use (which may or may not include rules for time and content and observing certain screen free times like family dinner). Warning signals such as weight gain, sleeplessness, hyperactivity, irritability, school trouble, mood swings, depression, etc, may be a good cue to take a screen break. “You will be more effective as a parent and have more fun as a family, if you drop the guilt and embrace the good that screens have to offer, while balancing media with other priorities.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    The basic thesis of Art of Screen Time is "tech is fine, don't use too much, mostly together" (ala Michael Pollan). My favorite part of the book is chapter 5, which looks at how real families navigate screens. How do experts on sleep, violence in media, autism, etc approach screen time? Moderation is a key recommendation, obviously, but experts differ on time, medium (is TV, especially slow-paced programming, better than apps?) and how to set limits. One key takeaway from the book is the importa The basic thesis of Art of Screen Time is "tech is fine, don't use too much, mostly together" (ala Michael Pollan). My favorite part of the book is chapter 5, which looks at how real families navigate screens. How do experts on sleep, violence in media, autism, etc approach screen time? Moderation is a key recommendation, obviously, but experts differ on time, medium (is TV, especially slow-paced programming, better than apps?) and how to set limits. One key takeaway from the book is the importance of modeling good habits as parents, which I'm determined to do better. I'm loving the new screen limit options on iPhone and I'm trying to keep to a 45 minute IG limit per day (which is really helping reduce my overall screen time (swipe to see my data!). The less time I'm on my phone, the more time I have to spend reading books on my own or with my kids, playing board games, being outside, etc. Another excellent chapter in this book is on screens at school -- how often are screens and tech really being used in a meaningful way?

  25. 5 out of 5

    William Rood

    The whole book can be summed up in this quote by the author, "Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others." This is the first parenting book that not did not just read, but rather devoured. I took copious notes, went back to earlier chapters after gleaning some insight in a chapter I was currently reading, and in the end realized I must have "read" the book a half dozen times in the process. It is a well researched piece on the impact of digital media in our modern day life. While it should b The whole book can be summed up in this quote by the author, "Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others." This is the first parenting book that not did not just read, but rather devoured. I took copious notes, went back to earlier chapters after gleaning some insight in a chapter I was currently reading, and in the end realized I must have "read" the book a half dozen times in the process. It is a well researched piece on the impact of digital media in our modern day life. While it should be obvious that every family is different, the author goes out of her way to state in many different ways that your mileage will vary with how you read and implement this book. My biggest take away from all of this is that my own behavior will ultimately be the model upon which my children view their relationship with screens and digital media, and how those can be woven into their own daily routines. Really amazing book, and well worth the time to read it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    2.5 - almost 3. I had to return it to the library before completely finishing, and I felt relieved rather than disappointed, so I felt like it didn't merit an "I liked it." I like the author's no-nonsense, practical approach, but because the research at present is so inconclusive (not the author's fault), it seemed like I had to sift through a lot of research the author wrote about but told me not to take seriously to get to the essential advice. The summary at the end was really helpful and wor 2.5 - almost 3. I had to return it to the library before completely finishing, and I felt relieved rather than disappointed, so I felt like it didn't merit an "I liked it." I like the author's no-nonsense, practical approach, but because the research at present is so inconclusive (not the author's fault), it seemed like I had to sift through a lot of research the author wrote about but told me not to take seriously to get to the essential advice. The summary at the end was really helpful and worth the read. And I love the mantra of "Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly Together." I think I might have liked it a lot if I hadn't already felt comfortable with our screen use. I definitely appreciate her points in the summary at the back. Don't let my lukewarm review keep you from reading it if you are looking for a screen time philosophy, but maybe just read the summary at the back before devoting yourself to the whole book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This book was great because it took some great research and summarized it for your every day parent. I liked the book because it hit on the effect of screen time on sleep, mood, and relationships. While the book was filled with great information - I liked the TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read) section in the back the most. It highlighted each of the important points in a few minutes and are the best takeaways for parents. The most important piece of information is that screens should be used (like anyth This book was great because it took some great research and summarized it for your every day parent. I liked the book because it hit on the effect of screen time on sleep, mood, and relationships. While the book was filled with great information - I liked the TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read) section in the back the most. It highlighted each of the important points in a few minutes and are the best takeaways for parents. The most important piece of information is that screens should be used (like anything) in moderation. Furthermore, screens should be used with other people and to promote skills that we want to see our children develop. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on where screens are headed (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence). This book is parents who are open to conversation about screen use.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a brilliant book that aggregates the research of media/screens/technology with children, paired with practical advice and suggestions for managing digital media in your family. Although I am not a parent, I think this guide helps families, educators, mentors, and more understand how current children are growing up with digital technologies and the implications it might have on their social development, well-being, health, and more. This is not a cautionary tale, as I think Anya has done This is a brilliant book that aggregates the research of media/screens/technology with children, paired with practical advice and suggestions for managing digital media in your family. Although I am not a parent, I think this guide helps families, educators, mentors, and more understand how current children are growing up with digital technologies and the implications it might have on their social development, well-being, health, and more. This is not a cautionary tale, as I think Anya has done well to offer some suggestions and interpret multiple research studies to make it consumable for all. Finally, if you feel you don't have the time to read it -- at least check out her Chapter 10: TL; DR: The Art of Screen Time in Five Minutes -- for some quick and helpful advice, and pass it on to those busy parents who might not have time to read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emily VA

    A useful, balanced survey of the research (such as it is) and the opportunities of technology, especially in the form of screens, in the lives of American families. It was in the parenting section of my library, and the first several chapters are focused on research related to kids and screens, screens in education, and how a survey of families navigate usage guidelines for the kids. The last chapter or two is on parents and how our screen usage interacts with kid engagement and modeling the kin A useful, balanced survey of the research (such as it is) and the opportunities of technology, especially in the form of screens, in the lives of American families. It was in the parenting section of my library, and the first several chapters are focused on research related to kids and screens, screens in education, and how a survey of families navigate usage guidelines for the kids. The last chapter or two is on parents and how our screen usage interacts with kid engagement and modeling the kinds of uses we want them to emulate. It’s balanced and helpful and I don’t know if it’s going to change my lazy “just say no except when I am desperate (sick days, waiting at the doctor’s office, flights)” approach to my kids and screens. But it’s got a lot of good food for thought.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Doni

    I appreciated that this was non-alarmist treatment of the issue. However, I didn't walk away with many nuggets of how parents should approach screen time beyond, "Enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together." What Kamenetz did offer was cautioning parents to be more aware of THEIR use of screen time. The only thing that really struck me as new was a proposed alternative to attachment parenting called Resources for Infant Educarers. Instead of constantly wearing a child, for example, a parent wou I appreciated that this was non-alarmist treatment of the issue. However, I didn't walk away with many nuggets of how parents should approach screen time beyond, "Enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together." What Kamenetz did offer was cautioning parents to be more aware of THEIR use of screen time. The only thing that really struck me as new was a proposed alternative to attachment parenting called Resources for Infant Educarers. Instead of constantly wearing a child, for example, a parent would stick them in a safe, enclosed place with a few simple items and let them explore. Perhaps this doesn't seem innovative to most, but it is certainly different from how I approached things.

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