Citizen Digital Foundation

Healthy screen-time for children​

Art: Arosh Thevadathil

Recommended screen time depends on the child’s age.

Children under 2 years:

  • Little to no screen time
  • Screentime only with an adult present (example: video-chatting family members)
    Co-viewing is encouraged so parents can develop a relationship with the child over their content experiences, and understand the internet culture of their times.

2 to 5 year-old children:

  • One hour or less per day
  • Interactive, non-violent, and educational content
  • Must be co-viewed or supervised.
    Help them develop physical hobbies, and encourage activities that require creating using hands. Eg. building blocks, colouring, play-dough, etc.

5 to 18 year-old children and adolescents:

  • Under 2 hours of recreational screen time. That is outside of online learning time
  • Strong parental controls advised. Example: Co-sharing devices, Setting parental control through parents’ accounts. Monitoring what they watch. Setting time-limits on devices as well as Wifi
  • Co-viewing routines where parents ask and learn about children’s content, and what about those content interests them
  • Have open, non-judgemental, non-confrontational conversations around risky content, cybersecurity, and online behaviour
With increased necessary online time due to the pandemic, it has become all the more important for children and adolescents to catch a break from screens. They need more sleep (as much as 12 hours for teens) and at least an hour of physical activity. Parents must model healthy online behaviour and find time to have frequent conversations with children. Cultivate hobbies that do not involve using smart devices. Devote time for mindful activities.
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Negative effects of too much screen-time

Art: Arosh Thevadathil

The negative effects of too much screen-time could be taking over your mental and physical well-being. Cut back before it’s too late.

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Stalked by ads?

Art: Arosh Thevadathil

100 likes/clicks is all it takes for a platform to understand your basic 5 personality traits.

150 likes/clicks are enough for platforms to know you as well as your partner.

300 likes/clicks are all it takes to know you better than yourself.

– Gloria Mark
Human-computer interaction expert. 
University of California

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Designed to addict

Art: Arosh Thevadathil
  • Seductive interface
  • Red alerts
  • Autoplay
  • Clickbait
  • Infinite scroll
  • Intermittent variable rewards
  • Notifications that fuel FOMO
  • Trends and challenges
  • Filtered perfection
  • Social validation
  • Gaming micro-transactions

and many more engagement mechanics developed using Behaviour Science and Psychology, that make you constantly reach out for, and keep using your smart device.

“The impulse to check a message notification, the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later. None of this is an accident. It is all just as their designers intended.” 

– Nir Eyal, Author of ‘Hooked’

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