Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Smartphones, sleep, television and family and all sorts of ramblings

When Anjali was born, or somewhere around that, i read an articlee about how a good parent would not let her child exposed to television until the child was six years old. Ofcourse, I immediately determined to be a good parent

But it was not so easy. We probably got along fairly well until Anjali hit about a year old, and then we got her to watch home videos of herself doing stuff. Infact, until Anjali was nearly two, the home videos were about the only things that she watched.

We have generally made it a point to curb tv viewing and computer viewing at home, and sometimes I cringe when I hear parents giving ipads to their children to play games in. The recent podcast only reinforces our current take.


One of the things that they said was particularly alarming. Teenagers who have a tv in their room spend 8.5 hours a day in interactive media while teenagers who dont have a tv spend 5.5 hours a day in interactive media. 8.5 hours!! that is a lot of time that can be used in productive activity.

How can someone spend so much of time a day in front of tv or computer games and not realize that the time has gone. And do this repeatedly day in and day out? One possible reason is that the media is so engaging that it gives the illusion of doing something.

When I was in school, I was reading Sidney Sheldon. At one point, I read three of his books back to back in a single day (it was during the summer vacation). Somehow, after that binge, Sidney Sheldon lost his charm to me. Another time, I watched three or four hindi films back to back. After that binge, the hidi film watching too lost its charm and nowadays I am extremely selective about what I watch.

There is also a nice tip in the pod cast. Record instead of watching. And you will find that tomorrow, you have much more important things to do than the watch the show that you recorded.

Amazing how many nice things we can do with our lives if we are ruled only by common sense

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