Hello technology enthusiasts!
For my first blog post, I wanted to tell you a little bit about my back story and why I started Bye Bye Screen!
I was about 5 years old when the first models of Apple’s touch iPod and iPhone were released in 2007. At this point, the epidemic of electronics had not reached its current spread and, thus, few people under 18 had these handheld devices. Slowly but steadily, however, these touchscreen wonders began popping up in every household.
Today, my three year old-sister is obsessed with watching Peppa Pig; my eleven year-old brother loves to play on his Xbox and PC and Nintendo; my parents frequently check Facebook; and my guilty pleasure is binging the latest TV shows on Netflix. Similar to the average American household, my family uses our fair share of screens. But, when your brother is glued to his computer screen and your sister will only eat while watching videos, electronic devices become more than a simple past time.
For years, it seemed like all of the fights in my family had been about excessive screen usage. We reached the point where these debates needed to stop.
Technology is an integral part of our lives; we use it to communicate with friends, relieve stress, research new ideas and entertain ourselves. Since our devices were not going to go away anytime soon, my family and I realized weneeded to change.
I looked for solutions by reading blogs, articles, and books written by adults. Yet, all of the existing advice seemed unreasonable to implement in our house. Further, when my parents tried to set parental controls on my brother’s electronics, my brother hacked the control system or used a device which did not have control settings. We simply could not find a solution to fix our family’s issue.
That’s when I came up with the idea for Bye Bye Screen. My goal had been to help my family solve this problem, but when I realized that screen time is a global issue, I decided to expand this project to help others. My hope is that learning about technology—and how we can use it in a healthy way—from a teenager perspective will help parents around the world effectively reduce their family’s screen time!