We’re living in a different world and shame is unproductive. According to the Washington Post, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised against more than one hour of screen use for children under 5 years of age in 2016. Four years later, however, the globe exists in entirely different parameters and is facing widespread quarantine. Now, Nusheen Ameenuddin warns against guilting ourselves for adapting to this current reality with screens.
Common Sense Media claims that the problem was never with how many hours we spent online anyway – it was more about how we were using our brains, especially for children. Since the world dwells within their respective homes now, and we by nature are social and narrative beings, we must learn how to do everything we enjoy in a different way – through technological advancement. This has become our screens. Common Sense Media explains that there is a significant difference between four hours of tv time and four hours of screen time with tv, video chatting, and creative activities. They encourage creative engagement with online media – how can our screens actually help us the build the connections we are barred from at the moment? Essentially, screen time can offer both an escape for our brains and an opportunity for social connection – whether we watch endless movies with family or spend hours video chatting with loved ones. If we take a break from social media and consciously choose to disengage with a new mode of living, we risk disconnecting with our community bases. Adapting to rather than resisting the new reality takes time, but leads to creative problem-solving and a fulfilling life.
The Canadian Mental Health Association advises against ignoring troubling news. Especially during a pandemic, accurate and consistently updated information is like armor – not only is the public prepared to take the proper precautions, but they also understand their own role in the crisis. Turning away from the news can lead to more stress due to misinformation. CMHC recommends finding trusted media sources and using social media only for connection and not for finding irrefutable information.