From Beth Teitell:
What are you doing about this ongoing nagging problem?
Kids have always fought household rivals for their parents’ attention, of course. But competing against a phone attached to a kitchen wall or a newspaper is nothing compared with going head-to-head with Facebook or Angry Birds. No one has calculated the number of iPhone (or tablet or laptop) orphans. But children who dream of talking to or playing with their parents without mom or dad stealing a glance at a screen may find it increasingly difficult.
Almost half of Americans – 46 percent – now own smart phones, up from 35 percent last May, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. With the growing mobile connectivity has come increasing expectations from employers – and also from friends and family – that e-mails, texts, and tweets will be responded to immediately.
Toss in the siren call of ESPN’s ScoreCenter and it’s no wonder the kids are starting to push back, said Michael Rich, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center on Media and Child Health.
He sees patients, particularly adolescents, who throw their parents own digital addiction right back at them. “Why should I disconnect when you don’t?’’ they ask.