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“It’s like giving a kid a little bit of cocaine and telling them to be careful,” she says. In the survey, parents reported their kids spending nearly 19 hours a week in front of screens, more than two-and-a-half times the recommended dosage of media time—and Bernstein assumes that parents wildly underestimate their kids screen time.
“Kids should be involved in imaginative play but tech is the best babysitter in the world,” she says. One major benefit of the tech used for screen time: it’s a sunk cost. In other words, once you buy the device, and the necessary subscriptions, you don’t have to pay an ongoing rate. That’s much cheaper than hiring a human babysitter. But once kids are addicted, many parents feel it’s hard to get them un-addicted.