As parents, this study should not surprise you. Kids who use the Internet, social media or video games recreationally for more than one hour a day have significantly lower grades and test scores. That’s what a recent study concluded after studying around 10,000 middle-school children.
So should you pull the plug on video games and the Internet for you kids? Not quite. It seems that if you limit your kids’ time for being online and playing video games to one hour daily, there may also be some positive benefits.
This study was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Let’s look a little closer at the results.
Researchers at the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University-New Brunswick analyzed a national survey of educational needs and outcomes of children in China. They surveyed about 10,000 first-year middle school students. The average age of the children was 13.5 years.
Too Much Time Playing Online
They found that kids who played video games, went online or used social media for entertainment for more than four hours a day were four times more likely to skip school than those who did not.
They also found that boys were more likely to use interactive technology for entertainment. Boys also performed worse and showed lower school engagement levels than girls.
The researchers did find that children who used technology for less than one hour a day experienced less boredom at school. The researchers think that game playing and social media may help the kids with peer bonding and relationship building. This may contribute to the children’s cognitive development.
When is too much Internet and video games bad for kids? According to this study, if you limit them to one hour or less, it may actually have some positive benefits.
In the end, as parents, you just have to monitor what your kids are doing online and with the technology, and how much time the spend on these things.