英语学习:家长面对的screen time矛盾

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文︰子慧

这一代家长最头痛的问题,是孩子的screen time。 Screen是荧光幕,screen time泛指使用电脑、手机和平板电脑有荧幕产品的时间。很多家长之前希望尽量延迟和减低孩子使用这些产品的时间,但现在很多校内的学习活动,做功课,以至同学、师生间的联系,都是靠电脑和手机,没可能不让孩子接触screen devices 。

电脑时间愈少愈快乐

但这不等于问题已经解决。在IT世代出生的孩子渐渐长大,IT对他们的影响就愈来愈明显。最近就有研究探讨用电脑时间如何影响青少年的心情。结果发现:”Teens who spend less time in front of the screen are happier – up to a point.”用电脑的时间愈少,快乐程度就愈高。但up to a point。

Up to a point解to some extent, but not completely,在某程度上。例如︰I agree with this argument, up to a certain point.(我在某种程度上同意这论调。)There is some truth in what you say, but only up to a point.(你的说法只在某程度上是对的。)This method works up to a point, but it has its flaws.(这方法某程度上行得通,但亦有它的问题。)

研究报告名为”Decreases in Psychological Well-Being Among American Adolescents After 2012 and Links to Screen Time During the Rise of Smartphone Technology”,早前在Emotion(《情绪》)期刊中发表。

研究的数据来自University of Michigan每年对第8、9和12年级青少年进行的调查。研究发现:
After rising since the early 1990s, adolescent self-esteem(自尊), life satisfaction and happiness plunged after 2012, the year smartphone ownership reached the 50 per cent mark in the U.S.

It also found that adolescents’ psychological(心理的)well-being decreased the more hours a week they spent on screens, including the internet, social media, texting, gaming and video chats. The findings jibe with(符合、脗合)earlier studies linking frequent screen use and teenage depression(情绪低落)and anxiety(焦虑).

在上世纪九十年代,美国青少年的自尊和对生活满意的水平曾经一度上升,但自2012年以来就开始下降,与此同时,智能手机的拥有率就一直上升。研究亦发现,青少年的screen time愈长,不论是上网、用社交网站,互传短讯,打机或视像交谈,就愈不开心。

每周一至五小时最开心

但screen time多导致心情差的情况只是up to a point,原因是孩子完全没有screen time今时今日很难维持朋友圈子。那最开心的是哪组孩子?

Teenagers who get a small amount of exposure to screen time, between one and five hours a week, are happier than those who get none at all. The least happy ones were those who used screens for 20 or more hours a week.
每星期screen time1至5小时的孩子最开心,使用20小时以上的最不开心。

San Diego State University心理学教授Jean Twenge在著作iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood中,剖析资讯科技年代出生成长的孩子的特质。

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