Secondhand Screen Time

What does Secondhand Screen Time mean?

When a parent keeps giving only part of their attention to their child all the time

Secondhand screen time is a phrase used when a parent is more focused on their electronic device, like a phone or tablet, and is not giving their full attention to their child. This term was first used by a scholar named James Smith in an article published on February 9, 2016 titled “The Powerful Influence Of Secondhand Screen Time On A Child’s Brain: What Parents Need To Know”.

The term was inspired by the phrase “Secondhand Smoke”, which is when a person experiences negative effects from someone else’s smoking. Similarly, secondhand screen time happens when a parent is so absorbed in their device that they only give limited attention to their child. This behavior can have a negative impact on the child’s mental development, especially their ability to feel pleasure.

When a child’s brain gets used to these constant interruptions, their pleasure system might not develop properly. This could make them more likely to feel depressed or anxious. Secondhand screen time is a serious issue, as it can affect a child’s mental health and overall well-being.

Example for using ‘Secondhand Screen Time’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see the article about “Secondhand Screen Time”?

Yeah, I did! It’s when a parent only pays partial attention to their child because they’re distracted by their phone or tablet.

Exactly! It’s like when someone is smoking and the people around them breathe in the smoke, but instead of smoke, it’s the parent’s distraction.

That’s a great analogy! It’s concerning how it affects the child’s cognitive development and pleasure processing.