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Tech Overload

Hold out your hands. Take a stroll through your home, and count all the electronic devices you find. TV. DVD player. Blu-ray. Computer (or two). Cell phone (or four). iPad. iPod. Are you out of fingers yet? And what about Jr.? According to a 2009 study by market research firm The NPD Group, kids use more technology than ever before—and they’re not just borrowing it from Mom and Dad. Many kids aged 4-14 carry cell phones provided by parents for emergencies—but almost 50 percent of them use them mainly for sending text messages. “Kids come to me exhausted because they’ve been up all night texting,” says Dr. Jamie Williamson, a family-medicine physician at Methodist Richardson Medical Center. “I recommend no media in the bedroom … and limit usage to two hours max per day,” she adds. Think back to that counting you just did. The NPD study found an average of 11 consumer electronic devices per household. Where do you stand?