CCFC Launches Screen Time-Limiting Action Net

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has launched an initiative, the Children's Screen Time Action Network to organize those trying to reduce the amount of time kids spend in front of tablets, phones and other digital devices.

While CCFC says there are many, including members of the action network, who provide input on making educational media choices, but the goal of the campaign is to "elevate the voices and tools" focused on"unplugging more often."

According to CCFC, founding members include teachers, social workers, doctors, and librarians. The campaign will include a resource library for sharing practical tools.

"In light of emerging research, it's clear that professionals need to work together to advocate for healthy digital media use by creating best practices, guidelines, and evidence-based information," said Staci Connolly, a psychotherapist and a member of the network.

The network will hold its inaugral conference on reducing screen time April 20-21 in Boston.

CCFC cites a recent survey by Common Sense Media showing 42% of children 8 and younger have a table and that low-income kids use digital devices for almost two hours longer per day than kids in higher-income households. And while that is only a 1% increase from 2011, time spent with the devices by those kids has skyrocketed to 48 minutes a day, up from only five minutes in 2011.

Given that rise in tablet screen time, Common Sense has launched a new PSA featuring comedian and actor Will Ferrell in the latest extension of its #DeviceFreeDinner campaign, which asks parents and kids to both put down their devices and talk to each other over the evening meal.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.