In The News

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The Underlying Messages That Screen-Time Recommendations Send Parents

The Atlantic | April 29, 2019

Providing the sort of straightforward guidance parents desire is hard for anyone, even experts.

Read The Atlantic's article about the World Health Organization's recommendations for children's media consumption, including Vicky Rideout's comments. “The gist of the WHO recommendations is that small children should be spending more time in active play and less time being sedentary—and that the sedentary time should be more focused on activities that boost cognitive development, like blocks and puzzles, and less focused on videos and electronic games,” says Vicky Rideout, an independent consultant who researches kids’ technology use and who worked on the Common Sense Media survey. “And by and large, I think those are sound recommendations.”

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The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected

New York Times | October 26, 2018

“America’s public schools are still promoting devices with screens — even offering digital-only preschools. The rich are banning screens from class altogether.” This article by Nellie Bowles cites research VJR Consulting conducted for Common Sense Media. “Lower-income teenagers spend an average of eight hours and seven minutes a day using screens for entertainment, while higher income peers spend five hours and 42 minutes, according to research by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit media watchdog.”

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For better or worse: how does social media affect young adults’ well-being?

October 31, 2018

Vicky Rideout’s latest blog post on the London School of Economics’ site Parenting for a Digital Future discusses the implications of findings from a recent survey we conducted about social media and mental health. The survey was sponsored by two organisations working to promote adolescent mental health, Hopelab and Well Being Trust.

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Teens and Smart Phones

August 22, 2018

“Phones have saturated teenage life: Ninety-five percent of Americans ages 13 to 17 have a smartphone or access to one, and nearly half report using the internet “almost constantly.” But as recent survey data and interviews have suggested, many teens find much of that time to be unsatisfyingly spent. Constant usage shouldn’t be mistaken for constant enjoyment, as any citizen of the internet can attest.” Read Vicky Rideout’s comments about teens and phones in this Atlantic article about the latest Pew Research Center survey.

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Parenting for a Digital Future

August 11, 2017

"The distinction between correlation and causation is not a mere technicality to acknowledge before moving on to a pre-ordained conclusion; it is fundamental to a correct interpretation of the work." Read Vicky Rideout's response to Jean Twenge's provocative Atlantic article on the London School of Economics' Parenting for a Digital Future blog.

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Journal of Children and Media

January 18, 2016

Given the variety of activities children can undertake on their phones and tablets, does it make sense to talk about "screen time" any more? And in this transmedia world, how can we effectively measure children's media usage - or should we even bother to try?

Read Vicky Rideout's commentary in the Journal of Children and Media on why it does make sense to continue doing our best to measure the time children and teens spend with various types of media, using quantitative, nationally representative, probabilistic samples - despite the many challenges of doing so. The article includes lots of key data from the recent Common Sense Census: Media Use By Tweens and Teens, now available in an academic journal.

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Barack Obama's 2004 Democratic Convention Speech

Watch Politico's behind-the-scenes video about Barack Obama's 2004 Democratic Convention speech, including an interview with Vicky Rideout, director of speech writing for the Convention.