Stories about: online media

Technology, teens and face-to-face communication


Are youth losing the ability to communicate face-to-face? A worried mother and student of media recently put that question to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Mediatrician, Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the hospital’s Center on Media and Child Health.

In his reply on our sister blog Thriving, Rich does not paint a comforting picture:

[Young people] have more connectivity than ever — and far less connectedness to others and to the world.

Not only are they disconnected in the moment, but this focus on devices can hinder their development of the social skills needed to communicate with others in-person.

But the issue is more nuanced than just too much time with screens:

Mobile phones are just tools and, used in healthy and safe ways, can help us communicate and stay connected (or reconnect) to people we love and can help us form new relationships with others all over the world. Technology only distances us when we misuse these tools by allowing them to come between us rather than connecting us.

See the rest of Rich’s response on Thriving.

Advising parents on children and media: Moving towards more evidence-based methods

boy tablet online media childrenMichael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health and Boston Children’s Hospital’s “Mediatrician,” authored an editorial in JAMA Pediatrics on the issues parents and physicians face in raising children growing up in a media-saturated world. The following is a synopsis of the editorial.

Research conducted in more than a dozen disciplines, collected for well over 50 years, provides a large and growing body of scientific evidence indicating that media exposure can influence leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children and adolescents (obesity, substance use, aggression and risk-taking behaviors, etc.). And considering that children now spend more time with media than they do with parents, teachers or any other influence, today’s parents and care providers need access to strong, evidence-based data when considering media that children use and the way that they use them. …Read More