Screentime for Teens

I wrote this one yesterday and forgot to post it then.

My son’s girlfriend is here, and they’re playing video games. They do that together a lot — that, and watch television. On one hand, they seem to spend way too much time staring at screens, which feels to me like a bad thing. On the other hand, I’m sure my mother said the same thing about me as a teenager spending hours alone in my room, reading books.

They’re nineteen years old and just finished their first year of college. They’re good students. He’s a phenomenal musician and composer; she’s studying to be a veterinarian. They don’t drink or do drugs or engage in any kind of self-destructive or harmful behavior. They’re nice people. So it seems silly for me to worry about their choice of activities. But still, I wonder if they’re missing out a wider range of activities they could be spending time on.

I just suggested they take a walk; it’s a nice day out, not nearly as hot as it was earlier this week. And he really could use the exercise; he spends too much time in his room, since he’s been home for the summer. I think they may do it, not so much for the joys of getting out into the sunshine, but because the Dairy Godmother, everyone’s favorite local frozen custard place (frequented when he was in office by President Obama and his daughters) is just over a mile away. Whatever works.

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