i wrote a blog post on the united way blog. this means that i am famous, in case you were wondering. here is the link: http://www.unitedwayuc.org/blog/ or you can read it below!
A study done by the Kaiser Foundation (featured both in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times) describes the immense hours youth spend on media related items each day and the unhealthy effects it is causing. Tweens and teens are spending 7 hours and 38 minutes on average each day. That equals out to about 53 hours a week. It’s hard to even figure out how that is possible when these same young people are in school until 3 everyday. Some of the researchers thought they were “consuming about as much media as humanly possible in the hours available.” This heavy media use is leading to many different behavior problems, obesity, and lower grades. Now imagine how much longer youth are spending consuming media during the summer!
One girl from the study argues with her mother constantly about the need for technology. Speaking about her mother she informs the researcher, “back in her day, they didn’t have that stuff. I feel like it helps us open up and learn new things…instead of sitting around at home being bored.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I love technology. My grandpa continually uses the fact that computer games are good for his brain as an excuse, so it seems it has some positive effects. It isn’t that technology and media are bad, but there are so many other worthwhile opportunities and social interactions to be had!
AND now that it’s summer, there are even more great opportunities. I’ve come up with some ideas to start to entice you (both youth and adults).
· Find a new hobby- inline skating, volleyball, basketball, photography, creative writing, reading (it is fun!), cooking, biking
· Go swimming! If you don’t have a pool, there are plenty of public pools and summer passes are usually pretty cheap. OR you can turn on the sprinklers.
· Garden- this might not sound like too much fun, but I promise that from experience, it can be so thrilling to see a little seed turn into something you can actually EAT!
· Spend more time with your siblings and parents- play games, take walks, go to the park.
· Exercise! Go on a hike, run, go to the gym, or find other inventive ways.
· SUMMER OF SERVICE- Come to our projects or do service on your own! Tutor someone, help a family member, senior citizen, stranger, or think of another way to serve. You can find more out about Summer of Service on our website or look for our group on Facebook, ‘Summer of Service 2010.’
Here are the links to the articles for further reading: