In the new year I'm going to finally start blogging about my daughter, who is now 8 months old. I will call her S here when a name is necessary.
Anyway, here's something that is interesting and disturbing (to me, at least): I've spent most of my adult life focused on making things that people use/consume via screens (websites, films, videos), but now I'm trying with all my might to not expose my infant to screens.
Screen time is known to be terrible for young kids and is linked to attention-deficit disorders. Screens of all kinds, be they movie screens, TVs, computers, phones or tablets. It's been found, according to some studies, that even time spent in the same room where someone else is using a screen turned away from the child is harmful.
I suppose this is just one of many things we as adults do that we're not proud of that we suddenly have to either fix or hide from our kids - whether it's "bad words," or perhaps ways that we treat our partners that are less than ideal. We all, or most of us, do "bad" things we don't get around to working on improving, for years, until our hand is forced by having a little, new, perfect being around that we don't want to pass on that stuff to. They're info-sponges, and mirrors, and we don't want to see our shadows soaked up and reflected by them.
Ultimately most things can't be hidden forever. They must either be fixed, removed, or passed on in a more sane, balanced, moderated way. The latter is the eventual strategy with screen-time, because obviously we can't, and don't wish to, keep S from all screens forever, in this modern world of digital tools and toys. But we can try to bequeath to her an ethic of moderation and limits where she can benefit from the positive effects but hopefully avoid the most negative ones. And while most of the web sites I've built in my career will be long gone by the time she is old enough to navigate a web browser, perhaps some day we'll let her see some of my scary documentaries or wacky video art - with some explanations and helpful context, to be sure.