UMass Amherst


Screen Time Warning

Administrative: "Once Upon a Screen"

Posted on: Aug 6, 2013

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"If we let our youngest kids get too attached to those mesmerizing devices, they may have a hard time growing attached to each other later," observed Sherry Turkle in her article, "Once Upon a Screen," in The Science of You: The Factors That Shape Your Personality (New York: Time Books, 2013).

Sherry Turkle says...

"We are embarking on a giant experiment in which our children are the human subjects. There is much that is exciting and thrilling here. But these objects take children away from many things that we know from generations of experience are most nurturing for them. In the first instance, children are taken away from the human face and voice, because people are tempted to let the shiny screens read to children, amuse children, play games with children. And they take children away from each other. They allow them to have experiences (texting, i-chatting, indeed talking to online characters) that offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship....

"No matter how intriguing or interesting, online connections are not substitutes for the complexities and nuances of face-to-face conversations. Yet one can become so accustomed to what the online world offers the chance to edit oneself, to present oneself as one wishes that other kinds of contact feel intimidating. And, indeed, many plugged-in children grow up to fear conversation."

Learn more about Sherry Turkle.