The screen time debate is pitting parents against each other

Lauren Smiley:

Before the smartphone backlash, before apps were likened to cigarettes for kids or Facebook co-founder Sean Parker mused that “God knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains” or Tim Cook revealed he doesn’t let his nephew touch social media, and before the demands for studies and regulations and shutting down apps, Riddhi Shah was en route to a weekend trip to unplug from tech-ified San Francisco.

It was late 2015, and riding in the car with her husband and another couple, Riddhi, a friend of mine, was many months pregnant, and racked with questions about how she would inhabit her new role as a mom. That makes her the same as every first-time parent in the history of the world. However, the terms of parenthood changed abruptly back in 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the shiny object that many humans would either spend the next decade staring at or consciously telling themselves not to focus on. Now, parenting has gone, as one pediatrician told me, to “a 3.7 difficulty Olympic dive – up from a 2.8” a decade ago.