Screen Time, Socializing, and the Pandemic Parent Dilemma


Screen Time, Socializing and the Pandemic Parent DilemmaIt’s 3:15 p.m. on any random weekday. Without fail, my phone starts going off incessantly with texts and FaceTime calls. Nope, no one is looking for me. My cellphone is linked to my iPad at home, and if school is over, my 8-year-old’s friends are looking for her.

This is all new for us. Technology was not a big thing in our house before the pandemic. As time passed and seeing friends seemed more and more impossible, these resilient children have found a way.

At first, it was cute. It was messaging each other, asking if they could “call” and play games together. I kept the app on both my phone and iPad, so I could monitor what was happening. I’m all for privacy, but she’s only 8.

This pandemic has accelerated technology in her world, and if I wasn’t prepared, my daughter certainly wasn’t either. And so I corrected her on some etiquette, reminded her to be kind, and off she went.

But now that we’ve reached almost a year, these kids are savvy! And they are acclimating to their situation. And that means giggling on FaceTime for as long as I will allow it. And every day, I’m torn. Should screens be this much of a child’s life? Certainly not. But does she need to interact with her peers as much as possible? Is this her one shred of normalcy? Yes, it is.

Thankfully, the weather is starting to change, and we can go back to live and in-person play dates (masked and socially distanced, of course) because we can go back outside for long periods of time. But this technology has bridged the communication through the cold winter months, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

So while I am still getting a little tired of my phone going off A LOT with requests for my daughter to “join the chat,” I’m thankful that she and her friends have a way to connect and be there for each other until “normalcy” returns.


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