There's too much screen time, and then there's too much screen time.
This 13-year-old boy stays at an Internet cafe in the Philippines for days at a time, addicted to his favorite video game, Rules of Survival. Rather than drag his ass home and tell the cafe not to let him back in, his mother comes over with a plate of food to feed him while his eyes stay glued to the screen. He swats her hand away a few times, seeming annoyed that she is interrupting his playtime. And this isn't just a passing fancy, according to Oddity Central — the boy has been glued to a screen for a couple of years now.
37-year-old Lilybeth Marvel first noticed there was something wrong with her son Carlito about two years ago, when he began staying up late at an internet cafe near the family home in Nueva Ecija, the Philippines. Things got progressively worse as time went by, to the point where the 13-year-old now spends days on end with his eyes glued to a monitor playing his favorite “battle royale” video game, Rules of Survival. Last week, Mrs. Marvel was filmed delivering her son’s breakfast to the internet cafe and hand feeding him while he continued to play, because he had been there for over 48 hours.
After the footage went viral, the mother took to the internet to explain that she and her husband had tried a rough approach at first, by banning Carlito from going to the internet cafe. That didn’t work out as well as they had hoped, as the 13-year-old always found ways to sneak out, so now they’re trying to do things differently.
“I used to just nag about his online games. But that didn’t work. So I’m trying a different approach,” the woman said. “I try to make him feel that whatever is happening in his life, I am his mother who loves him and takes care of him.”
The two desperate parents have pulled Carlito out of school, because he had started skipping classes to play video games. They are trying to focus on managing his addiction, but admit that it is very difficult and have pleaded online for help.
Research by Oxford University scientists finds “little evidence of a relationship between screen time and wellbeing in adolescents.” Based on data from over 17,000 teenagers, the study “casts doubt on the widely accepted notion that spending time online, gaming or watching TV, especially before bedtime, can damage young people’s mental health.” This isn’t the first […]
In a heavy-duty new scientific paper published this week, University of Oxford researchers argue that the association between adolescent well-being and digital technology use is tiny. Really tiny. From Scientific American: (The paper by experimental psychologist Andrew Przybylski and grad student Amy Orben) reveals the pitfalls of the statistical methods scientists have employed and offers […]
The debates about screen time and kids are really confused: the studies have contradictory findings, and the ones that find negative outcomes in kids who spend a lot of time on their screens struggle to figure out the cause-and-effect relationship (are depressed kids using screens more because that's how they get help, or do kids […]
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