Skeptics may be less than bullish about his rosy view of the 'New Childhood.' Still, they will find much food for thought about how video games may unite people even if they live largely in the equivalent of a digital gated community.
While much of his book reads like cocktail-party chatter, Shapiro knows what he's talking about ... Shapiro's arguments are compelling and Luddite-proof, but what The New Childhood is missing – due to a lack of research in the field, not scholarship on the author's part – is an exploration into what the long-term effects of all this screen time are ... also fails to address head-on parental concerns that too much screen time may lead to social isolation, obesity, mental health problems and poor grades among kids.
Mr. Shapiro ignores or dismisses the research showing that too much screen time is correlated with higher levels of anxiety and depression in children and a lower capacity for prolonged concentration, not to mention an inability to read social cues ... almost all of the assertions in The New Childhood are offered up without so much as a footnote. Mr. Shapiro says (without citation) that the total screen time for kids 'averages somewhere between 90 minutes and three hours per day.' According to Common Sense Media, kids between the ages of 8 and 12 spend six hours a day on screens, not including homework. Teens spend closer to nine.