In 1948 George Orwell penned his classic novel, 1984, about a futuristic world in which telescreens watch a person’s every move and report it to Big Brother in an attempt to control the masses.
1984 is now a dot in the rearview mirror, but perhaps Orwell wasn’t completely off-base. Only it’s not monitors watching us, but we’re watching monitors. And some would argue the monitors are still in control.
The Constant Battle
As reported by Quartz, widely-respected internet analyst Mary Meeker shared that on average Americans spend nearly eight hours a day with our “faces glued to TVs, computers, smartphones, and tablets.” And if viewing one screen at a time wasn’t enough, the Business Insider found that 88 percent of Americans use a second mobile screen while watching their primary TV screen.
When it comes to digital natives—kids who have grown up on screens—data shows 71 percent of teens use more than one social media platform, 92 percent use the internet daily, and 33 percent use their smartphone apps to communicate with peers.
Facebook turned ten years old last year and has 1.4 billion users. In eight years Twitter has gone from 400,000 daily tweets to 500 million, and Instagram has amassed 300 million followers in just four years. In addition, many tweens and teens have migrated to apps such as Snapchat, Whisper, Vine, Tinder, 9Gag, and Yik Yak.
“It’s a constant battle with my 14-year-old son,” shares Estela Arellano, a working mom of two in Los Angeles, “If I shut off the Xbox he goes straight to his iPad. I feel like it requires constant management, which frustrates us both. It can be a big distraction for him. He rushes through homework so he can get ...1
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