How Corona Is Affecting Children’s Media Use

Digital lessons, video chat with friends, and playing FIFA instead of soccer training  Since the start of the Corona outbreak, children and teenagers have spent substantially more time in front of devices. Many parents ask whether it is permissible to use media under these situations. 

Researchers found that media use in everyday life has increased among 12- to 19-year-olds. According to their own statements, young people spend far more time than ever before, watching YouTube videos (82%), listening to music (78%), streaming services (71%), and watching TV (54% ). This can also be seen in the use times: According to the 2020 study, young people spent approximately 260 minutes online per day from Monday to Friday. This represents a one-hour improvement from the previous year. About 60% of the time is spent on entertainment and games. In comparison, approximately 40% of the time is spent interacting and looking for information.

For families, the changed everyday life with expanded online learning is an obstacle that requires a reconsideration of screen time. The rules must be revised to reflect the new digital way of life . What do you like to cherish in your daily family life? In the following parts, researchers have advice and information about how to use the media in Corona periods.

Ways to reduce children’s use of digital devices

  • A distinction must be made between leisure time and study or working hours .
  •  It is generally advisable to differentiate between media use and what children and young people actually do with media.
  • Regulate media consumption and stay in conversation.
  • Parents should especially pay attention to screen-free times and exercise breaks
  • Children and young people have the right to play and free time , to participate in cultural and artistic life and to have access to the media.
  • It is important to accompany children in using the media , but the age and level of development of the child must always be taken into account.
  • Children and young people must orientate themselves in their behavior to role models in their environment.
  • Simple basic rules, such as a smartphone ban at family meals, should of course also remain in place during the Corona crisis.

Finding common rules

Clear agreements strengthen the parent-child relationship and mutual trust: To avoid arguments or discussions about smartphone, computer, television, or internet use in families, a media use agreement drawn up jointly and early on can help. If you have problems regarding your devices, contact Tekhattan – IT help for New Yorkers.

In addition to clear rules, media vouchers can help. They are a great way to illustrate time , especially for younger children . Media vouchers also help families to keep time agreements and help children to organize the “allowed” time independently. In this way, children gradually take on more responsibility for media use .

Not every family is comfortable with this kind of formal written policy. Of course, these agreements can also be made verbally. Agreed rules , regardless of whether they are in writing or orally, should always be checked for their suitability and adjusted if necessary .