Michael Medved: Not All Screen Time Is Created Equal

An important new study from the American Medical Association makes the point that children hurt their school performance not by the total hours they spend on “screen time” but by the kind of screens they choose to watch.

In the journal Jama Pediatrics, the authors summarize 58 studies published in recent years. Their conclusions show that time spent watching TV or playing video games is just as destructive as experts have long maintained—particularly damaging children’s achievement during their teenage years.

But other sorts of screen time—like social media on smart phones, or surfing the web—prove far less destructive because they’re less passive, more communicative.

In an era when parents sometimes spend thousands on tutors to boost a child’s academic prospects, they could produce better results by strictly limiting time gawking at the tube, or lost in the fantasy world of video games.