Fictional characters can feed childhood anxiety

One of numerous articles that appeared in the popular press following the stabbing by two girls of a third in Wisconsin, related to the fictional character Slenderman. This article relates a bit of history about how the character was invented and popularized on the website creepypasta. It seems the two girls who committed the stabbing of a friend may have actually believed that Slenderman was real and that they were going to be able to live with him, once they killed the third girl, who was a friend or acquaintance of theirs. Continue reading

Kids’ brains are being changed by media immersion

A thought-provoking article, which is an excerpt of a book by Michael Harris, entitled The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection. The article leaves the reader sobered, thoughtful. Relying much on recent brain research, the article argues that the human brain of the child is literally being changed by its daily immersion in the Internet and media. Continue reading

Are kids today more self-centered than ever?

A thought-provoking article that lays out some provocative ideas but leaves matters unresolved. The gist of the article is the movement of kids from generation to generation toward more self-centeredness. Or as one of my earlier articles puts it: “Self-Centered: the New Normal.” Continue reading

A possibly skewed look at the pros and cons of digital ware for toddlers

A short and somewhat strange article ostensibly about the pros and cons of raising toddlers with an abundance of digital machines at their finger tips. Continue reading

Education is the best protection

A sobering article written by an educator in South Africa, a country like so many others permeated with easy access to the internet. The concerns she raises are multifold. Kids are gaining access to all kinds of images and material that is shocking, confusing and distressing them. Continue reading

Media presents impossible standards of beauty

fashion-square

A valuable article that relies on a number of worthwhile sources to makes its major point: Girls growing up with the media as their “super peer” find themselves facing dilemmas in terms of body image. The result is an unrealistic set of self-expectations and often a sense of their own inferiority. Continue reading

Makers of e-cigarettes getting around the law

candy flavored e-cigs

A troubling if thought-provoking article about how companies making e-cigarettes seem to be working to get around federal legislation banning advertising of cigarettes to minors. At issue here is the making and marketing of candy-flavored cigarettes, a relatively new product that, according to many concerned parties, can play a crucial role in hooking kids on nicotine from a very early age. Continue reading

Alcohol is too often shown in a humorous light

drinking

A terse and simple article that makes the point well about how much of a negative effect mainstream media immersion has on kids in terms of alcohol consumption. Citing many troubling statistics including the massive amount of money spent annually by alcohol-selling companies on advertising, the fact that about 50% of the presentations of alcohol consumption in mainstream media show it in a humorous light, and only about 23% show a downside, the article makes some very well-known points about the causative connection of media imagery to kids being influenced to drink. Continue reading

It’s not just the time, it’s the content

Arguably a ground breaking article regarding the causal nature of the media on childhood obesity. Not only does this article out of Boston Children’s Hospital make the case for such a connection via hard data. It also makes another important point: This issue may not just be the amount of screen time a child experiences but the content of the screen time. Continue reading

Media can provide a positive influence, if there is a profit in it

An interesting study that follows the same theme described in my last article and set of tweets: The media can be used for good, if the message itself is positive. Previously I wrote about the FDA using a marketing barrage to make the point that perhaps kids can be influence via commercials to turn away from smoking cigarettes. This article suggests a similar tactic in the national battle against childhood obesity. Continue reading