-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Many American parents view
television and the Internet with the same concern and are using
similar methods to limit their children's use of both mediums,
suggests a new survey.
About 57 percent of households restrict Internet use as a way to
punish children, a rate similar to the 60 percent of households
that restrict TV as a form of punishment, according to the survey
of 1,926 Americans over age 12 conducted by the Center for the
Digital Future at the University of Southern California.
Many parents also say Internet access at home is reducing the
amount of time their children spend in person with friends, found
the survey, conducted online and by phone.
The survey also confirmed a sharp drop in family face-to-face
time, or "face time," in Internet-connected households. During the
first half of the decade, personal contact in families averaged 26
hours a week. That fell to just less than 18 hours a week by 2010.
This trend is likely because of increased involvement in online
communities, according to Michael Gilbert, a senior fellow at the
Previous center surveys suggest that about half of people
involved in an online community value it as highly as their real
"With all the digital diversions out there, it's hard to pin this on any one thing," but it seems clear that online social networks are replacing family face time, Gilbert said in a USC news release.
"We need to make sure families are reinforced rather than weakened in the digital future," he added.
The survey findings confirm the center's predictions about
rising parental displeasure with the Internet, says center director
While families have turned many technological advances, such as
the telephone, to their advantage, the interactive demands of
online social networks and digital technology can cause
extraordinary stress for families, Cole noted.
The Nemours Foundation explains how parents can encourage
healthy television, Internet and video game
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