Stories about: media

This week on Thrive: March 1 – 5

Here’s a quick look at what Thrive was up to last week.

Do you know how dangerous drowsy driving is for your teen? Teen brains really are different. Parents consider hastening death for terminally ill children. Do small changes in our diet really add up? Children’s Facebook page is named one of the best hospital pages. A Children’s critical care nurse tells her story about caring for Haitian earthquake victims on the USNS Comfort. Do you know how to recognize the early signs of autism? Learn why it’s important for young boys and girls to see female characters on screen. Children’s hearing needs to be protected beginning at a very young age.

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Tackling gender imbalance in children's films

stockphotopro_51363907WHF_young_childrenby Dafna Lemish, PhD

Actress Geena Davis’s recent speech to the United Nations highlighted a concern that researchers of children and media have been speaking about for many years. The programs on the screens our children view – on television, computers, movie theaters or even their mobile phones – portray a world of gross gender inequality: Girls still appear marginal to society.

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What goes on in the brain during a 3D movie?

Michael RichMedia expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, answers your questions about media use. Last week, he discussed if parents are legally responsible when their teens engage in sexting.

Here’s this week’s question:

Q: I took my sons to see Avatar over vacation, and while I sat there with giant 3D glasses on, I wondered if scientists know anything about whether 3D affects how children process the experience of a movie?
Thrilled by 3D in Wilmington, MA

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Internet overload: Are we spending too much time online?

We’re all familiar with the myriad benefits of the Internet, a tool which has undeniably changed the way we communicate, learn and use entertainment. But how much of a good thing is too much? For a small fraction of kids, the Internet’s draw may prove too enticing, as Internet addiction (loosely defined as excessive use of the Internet that negatively impacts academic, social and family life) appears to be on the rise in much of the industrialized world.

We spoke to a neurologist specializing in the teen brain, media expert Michael Rich and a psychologist for this article about Internet addiction and its possible effects. Read on to find out what you need to know about your child’s Internet use–and how you can help them manage their screen time effectively.

That’s important to do, as a national survey recently found that the amount of time young people spend with entertainment media has risen dramatically: Today, 8 to 18 year olds spend an average of almost eight hours a day using digital media. And because they are often “media-multitasking” (like instant messaging on the computer while watching TV and texting friends on their cellphones) they actually manage to cram a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those eight hours.

So, is it bad for kids and adults alike to spend so much time using digital media? The answer isn’t straightforward, as the article makes clear, and much more research needs to be done. A Frontline documentary also probes the question.

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