Never mind students, how do we get distracted parents to unplug?

A Facebook post got a Hall County teen charged with making a terroristic threat, a charge upheld today the state Supreme Court.

If schools hope to enlist parents in prying students away from smartphones and computers, they’re going to have to unplug mom and dad first.

It won’t be easy because adolescents and teens aren’t the only ones with a serious media habit. Parents spend more than nine hours a day watching television, movies, and videos, playing video games, listening to music, using social media, reading either print or electronic books, and using digital devices for other purposes, such as browsing websites and playing games.

That was the startling finding of a survey by Common Sense Media. “These findings are fascinating because parents are using media for entertainment just as much as their kids, yet they express concerns about their kids’ media use while also believing that they are good role models for their kids,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense.

The data inThe Common Sense Census: Plugged-In Parents of Tweens and Teens won’t surprise anyone who’s attended  an event at their local middle or high school. You can see the bright screens of parent iPhones at concerts, football games and plays. I was at a playground in Nashville in September, and at least half the parents were interacting with their phones more than their kids.

Parents of American tweens (age 8–12) and teens (age 13–18) spend most of their media time on personal interests, not on work assignments. The study found parents use about an hour and a half of screen media for work. In the course of a day, 91 percent of parents said they watched TV/ DVDs/videos. Only 19 percent of parents use e-readers, which may hint at why so many kids say they don’t read for fun.

The survey may also explain why so many parents argue against cellphone bans in schools; parents see  phones as integral to their lives and likely believe the phones are also vital to their kids and their well-being.

Despite their own extreme media habits, 78 percent of parents believe they’re positive role models for their kids on appropriate use of media.

Other key findings of the Common Sense survey:

Social media: Half of parents believe that social media hurts children’s physical activity.

Internet usage: Parents are “moderately” or “extremely” worried about kids spending too much time online (43 percent), over-sharing personal details (38 percent), accessing online pornography (36 percent), and being exposed to violent images or videos (36 percent).

Monitoring: Two-thirds (67 percent) of parents say that monitoring media use is more important than respecting their children’s privacy.

Ethnicity: African-American parents (10:37) spend about an hour and a half more with personal screen media than Hispanic parents (8:52), who spend about two and a half hours more with personal screen media than white parents (6:38).

Income: Parents from lower-income households spend more time with personal screen media (9:15) than middle-income parents (7:42), who spend more time than higher-income parents (6:41).

Education: Parents with a high school degree or less spend the most time with personal screen media (9:03), as compared with parents with at least some college (7:41), who spend more time than parents with an undergraduate degree or higher (6:10).

In her 2013 book, “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Families in the Digital Age,” psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair warned, “Designed to serve us, please us, inform us, entertain us and connect us, over time our digital devices have finally come to define us…While parents and children are enjoying swift and constant access to everything and everyone on the Internet, they’re simultaneously struggling to maintain a meaningful personal connection with each other in their own homes.”

Reader Comments 0


my Aunty Zoe got a superb Mercedes GL-Class SUV by working part time from a macbook... 

try this out.............  



"Parents spend more than nine hours a day watching television, movies, and videos, playing video games, listening to music, using social media, reading either print or electronic books, and using digital devices for other purposes, such as browsing websites and playing game"

I wish " listening to music"  had not been included in this survey.   You can have  music on in the background and perform a great number of tasks including interacting with your children.

That being said, I see parents on their devices all the time, when they should be interacting with their children.

We seem to have lost the concept of being "fully present", and our lives are being short changed because of it.


Today's populace, parents and children, lack insight and wisdom because they, like Donald Trump, live mentally in a 10 second concentration world.  Internalizing history is a thing of the past.  Reading for depth of understanding has become a thing of the past.  When the people in states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania choose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton as the person who will bring jobs back to their once middle class status they have been bamboozled because they lack historical understanding as well as wisdom which comes from reading material that requires concentration for perhaps 800 pages.

Those of the 1% of wealth in this nation have changed the trajectory of America from middle class to a plutocracy by design for over 40 years, and that power, now, is not about to work "for the people."  They work for themselves alone where wealth and power are everything.  That includes Donald Trump.  The people of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were not versed in historical facts and they could not read character well when they chose Trump over Clinton.  In other words, they were not truly literate. An uneducated American cannot sustain a republic. (Jefferson, B. Franklin)

Reading for depth must never become a thing of the past or human beings will become less than they are capable of and will become servants of the wealthy manipulators of their lives.

Read this concession speech by Hillary Clinton, delivered in November of this year, to understand what intellectual depth entails:


@MaryElizabethSings Leave it to an obvious Clintonite to refer to voters in other states as "illiterate".  Typical liberal arrogance which caused her loss, in large part, in the first place.

Typical class envy, too.

Need you be reminded that the top ten percenters in this county provide a lot of the sources of employment for the middle class.  Moreover, the wealth disparity embodied in your unjustified diatribe about "plutocratic dominance" of society for the past 40 years is not a new phenomenon .  It has been a natural phenomenon lasting thousands of years, dating back to the beginnings of recorded time. Some people need to get over the fact that that's just the way life is, and stop the eternal griping about it.

Just to set the record straight, I didn't vote for Trump. I found him to be as revolting as Hillary Clinton. I didn't vote for her. either. I was not about to subject myself to the disgusting charade of the latest election. Politicians will say just about anything to get people's votes, and this duo wrote the book on it.

I hope that you're not considering Hillary Clinton to be a pillar of virtue and "intellectual depth".  I spent a fourteen year career as an Army intelligence officer and held some of the highest security clearances imaginable.  Had I done what she is alleged to have done in handling sensitive information involving national security, I'd be a guest at the military stockade at Fort Leavenworth about now.

Hillary Clinton is a disingenuous liar of the highest order, and she could not possibly care about you or anyone else for that matter.  It seems that YOU were the one who was "bamboozled".  In fact, we both lose, don't we?

People like yourself....and I believe that you are probably a nice person (and well-read).......need to get over the drama of presidential choices and stop politicizing every issue that comes up.  The way I see it, you're just incensed because you didn't get your way.

Carry on with your life, and move on to the next objective.

It's a target-rich environment. 


Allan H. Bright     


So the ethnicities with the highest percentages of single parent households ... also feature the most distracted parent(s).


How do you get an alcoholic off the booze?