Screens and Kids: Do Techies Have Different Rules than the Rest of Us?

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What are your rules for kids and screen time?

In a world of screens, parents face some tough questions: To limit or not to limit? By how much and when? How different is Candy Crush from Codeacademy? And what is all the new tech doing to our children?

In this episode, we dive into the conundrum with the techies themselves -- the parents who code the apps and create the devices on your desk or in your pocket. We want to find out if they know something the rest of us civilians don’t.

We’ll hear from Sameer Ajmani, a Google software engineer, who deployed some evidence-based parenting and experimented with screen time extremes for his seven year-old. It didn’t go so well as you might imagine, but the lessons were probably worth it.

“The reality is that [tech execs] actually have a better understanding of where tech can go wrong than most non-tech parents do,” Nick Bilton.

Nick Bilton, tech columnist for the The New York Times, joins Manoush to swap stories after informally surveying tech execs in Silicon Valley about their family rules. It seems the parents most entrenched in the tech world are the ones most weary of what they’ve created. 

This episode will leave you thinking about your own house rules, whether or not you have kids. If you’ve figured it out, even just a little bit, we’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

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Resources mentioned in this episode: 

Heard in this episode: 

  • “Anything that you do in excess is probably not good for you,” Nick Bilton.

  • No parents in history have ever had to cope with the unprecedented convergence of a ubiquitous sophisticated alluring habit-forming screen technology and unfettered unregulated advertising," Susan Linn, founder of The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

  • “Addiction in the 60s was about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. The response in the 80s was safe sex education, say no to drugs, and the commoditization of popular music. This generation, the addictions are games, social media, and upbuzzclickbaitworthy articles.  What's the response?” Sameer Ajmani, parent and programmer. 


Music Playlist

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