Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life” as Want to Read:
The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  406 ratings  ·  77 reviews
"Blending scholarly evidence and the experiences of numerous families, The Art of Screen Time is a well-researched and reassuring guide to raising kids in a world where technology is everywhere." -danah boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

Finally there's a no-nonsense, don't-panic, evidence-based guide to one of the biggest challenges
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by PublicAffairs
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Art of Screen Time, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Andrew Wiser I just read the book David. I would say that it's mostly geared towards younger kids, but there's a lot of content (entire sections of the book)…moreI just read the book David. I would say that it's mostly geared towards younger kids, but there's a lot of content (entire sections of the book) talking about teenagers.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  406 ratings  ·  77 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life
Katherine Lewis
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Finally, a well-researched, non-guilt-tripping book about screen time that takes into account the realities of modern families' lives. I loved the pragmatism. Well-written and readable. I've adopted much of the author's advice since reading this excellent book.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book can be summed up in the quote the author adapted from food writer Michael Pollan: "Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others." It is full of research studies and is presented in a readable manner.

I received an ARC from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 30, 2018.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I've been following Kamenetz since the publication of DIY U, which I highly recommend to anyone who has a stake in college and university life in the United States. Seriously. Stop reading this review and go get it right now, Nammy.

Kamenetz's usually hard-hitting, no-nonsense tone has softened a bit in this new book. Parenthood can do that to you, as I have learned. The overall tone of the book aims for balance, but I think it strays a bit too far on the side of permissiveness. I was surprised
Mrs. Europaea
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really thorough text that looks at class status, diet, sleeping habits, family lifestyle, etc.. to discuss an important topic when raising children in this day and age: screen time.

I think the gist is similar to most things, moderation is key. Limiting screen time is always recommended, along with what screen time you allow, you actively participate with the children during the duration. Screens and technology no matter how advanced are not babysitters, and should not be used as such.
Dan Nolting
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Anya Kamenetz is a great writer, but early on in the book she goes after my beloved Sherry Turkle, which enticed me to scrutinize every word, sentence, and source in search of a weakness. But alas, I could not find too many. This is the guidebook parents we need for now if you are looking for a touchstone in dealing with digital anxiety. But since I took the devils pill, here are my nit-pics:
There are one too many product comparisons, bordering on subtle endorsement.
This book is American
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is it the best. Book. Ever? No. But it does exactly what it sets out to do and explains what research actually says, and does not say about the effects of screen time on kids, as well and discusses what various experts say about their research and what they do about screens in their homes.

Realistically looks at the fact that mobile devices and the internet are not going away and real people use them for good purposes throughout the day.

A TL;DR section at the end summarizes the book nicely if
Kylie Brooks
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Having just taken a class all about the effects of the media, both good and bad, I found this book to be an interesting discussion about how to parent while using media effectively. Some of the most compelling points include the idea that media is not bad in and of itself, but how we use it makes all the difference. If we let it control our lives at the risk of losing the relationships with those around us, that's a problem. If we ban all media from entering our homes, that's a problem as well. ...more
Andrew Wiser
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
As someone who must have at least a light addiction to technology, I found this book very interesting. Kamenetz really focuses on the advice: "Enjoy time with screens; mostly with others; not too often". When she focuses on that thesis, I find the book to be really good. I also appreciate how often she reiterates that some studies don't necessarily prove casualty and reminds parents that are no perfect solutions and most parents are just doing their best.

I found the most interest part of the
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Im really into this book, though the last third took forever to get through due to grant writing and the second season of Riverdale. I appreciate the takeaway - enjoy screens, not too much, mostly together - and have been trying to be better about my own usage/expectations with the girls. The food allergy and baby led weaning comparisons were helpful mindset focusers too. The education section broke my heart a little but shes not wrong and I am trying to be more intentional about when/how I ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others. With this quote (adapted from Michael Pollan) as a guiding principle, the author offers a balance of research and reassurance. My big takeaway is to stop assuming that the screen time rules that work for other families, or that are prescribed by the so-called experts, are necessarily right for us. Each family is different, each kid is different, and finding that right balance will be unique for each family. ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Equally fascinating and frightening.
Ariana deVries
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, family
Insightful book, but I couldnt seem to finish it. The concept was one I felt would have been better summed up in an article. I definitely agree with what she has to say, and it did help me to be more aware of digital media in my life. However, for me, it was like preaching to the choir. ...more
Kate Puleo Unger
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this book after changing the screen time rules in our house. I was curious about others ideas on the topic, and Id heard about this book from two sources recently. Anya starts the book with the research on the impact of screen time on kids, which is rather scarce and unreliable.

Then she shares her own theory about screen time, which I found rather interesting and valid enough. She says screens are kind of like junk food. Its all about moderation and not abstinence. Sort of like dieting
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it

This was a breezy, non-judgy and up to the minute take on how to maintain balance with regard to media. Overall, a good read with a simple message, a riff on Michael Pollen's food rules, "Enjoy screens, not too much, mostly with others."

Really enjoying this one. So far, it has addressed technology use across early childhood, relevant to me as a new parent, and in schools, relevant to me as a public school employee. The next section addresses adult use of screens *gulp.*
Chrissy Adams
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: references, library
This book caught my eye at the library and so I thought Id check it out. Ive never been worried about my kids and screens. Its the reality of this world. Screens are part of my work and their school and I strongly believe that if they dont know how to use technology it will set them behind. But I have family that feels differently and you can feel their judgment on us.

We rarely use a screen as a babysitter. And we set consistent limits on YouTube and the like. But we (the grownups) often have
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
As many others have shared, I found this book to be a calm and well reasoned approach to finding a way to live in a screen dominant world. While this book is definitely geared towards families with children, I do think it is a worthwhile read for those without kids or in other stages of life. I thought the layout of topics she covered was wide, and that the chapters flowed in a way that made sense. Just when I would start to think "Ok, but what about...?" the next chapter would address that ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This took me awhile to get through, but Im very interested in how my family can balance digital media and real life, so I pressed on. Overall, I liked it and found it very informative. Certainly not a gripping read, but very thoughtful and well-researched. Were all just figuring this out as we go!

Some quotes I liked- (looking over them now, I see that I marked only quotes that help me excuse my screen habits- hmm)

When you pull aside the curtain, the act of deploring parents use of media is often
Daniel Cornwall
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I am childless. Take that as you will.

I found this to be a fabulous book that walks a middle path between technophobia and technoutopianism. The author is a mother and reporter who did a lot of research and interviewed experts holding a variety of opinions. She also surveyed hundreds of parents and seemed to have interviewed dozens of them.

What emerges is a book that carefully lays out the evidence for the harms and benefits of screen time, distinguishes between types of
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together.
I found this book to be well-researched and reasonable and reassuring. Technology/screen time is a real issue for all modern families, and I felt like her approach offered real information without all of the panic and controversy that is often prevalent in social media (truthfully, the effects of screen time are very difficult to research). Basically, screens are here to stay, and we can use common sense and embrace the good that they have to offer,
Laura Gardner
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
The basic thesis of Art of Screen Time is "tech is fine, don't use too much, mostly together" (ala Michael Pollan). My favorite part of the book is chapter 5, which looks at how real families navigate screens. How do experts on sleep, violence in media, autism, etc approach screen time? Moderation is a key recommendation, obviously, but experts differ on time, medium (is TV, especially slow-paced programming, better than apps?) and how to set limits. One key takeaway from the book is the ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
2.5 - almost 3. I had to return it to the library before completely finishing, and I felt relieved rather than disappointed, so I felt like it didn't merit an "I liked it." I like the author's no-nonsense, practical approach, but because the research at present is so inconclusive (not the author's fault), it seemed like I had to sift through a lot of research the author wrote about but told me not to take seriously to get to the essential advice. The summary at the end was really helpful and ...more
William Rood
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
The whole book can be summed up in this quote by the author, "Enjoy screens. Not too much. Mostly with others."

This is the first parenting book that not did not just read, but rather devoured. I took copious notes, went back to earlier chapters after gleaning some insight in a chapter I was currently reading, and in the end realized I must have "read" the book a half dozen times in the process. It is a well researched piece on the impact of digital media in our modern day life.

While it should
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a brilliant book that aggregates the research of media/screens/technology with children, paired with practical advice and suggestions for managing digital media in your family. Although I am not a parent, I think this guide helps families, educators, mentors, and more understand how current children are growing up with digital technologies and the implications it might have on their social development, well-being, health, and more. This is not a cautionary tale, as I think Anya has done ...more
This book was great because it took some great research and summarized it for your every day parent. I liked the book because it hit on the effect of screen time on sleep, mood, and relationships. While the book was filled with great information - I liked the TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read) section in the back the most. It highlighted each of the important points in a few minutes and are the best takeaways for parents.

The most important piece of information is that screens should be used (like
Phi Unit
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Screens and digital media are an inevitable part of our society (phones, VR, AR, AI), theres a good way to approach how your children use digital media. Author is not biased towards being pro-media use or anti-media use, shes just a realist that screen use is inevitable.

Approach digital media like you would approach food:
1. Enjoy Screens
2. Not too much
3. Mostly with Others
Two things to always aim for in youth media consumption:
Active over Passive
* Parents and adults can play a strong role in
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I appreciated that this was non-alarmist treatment of the issue. However, I didn't walk away with many nuggets of how parents should approach screen time beyond, "Enjoy screens; not too much; mostly together." What Kamenetz did offer was cautioning parents to be more aware of THEIR use of screen time.

The only thing that really struck me as new was a proposed alternative to attachment parenting called Resources for Infant Educarers. Instead of constantly wearing a child, for example, a parent
Brandy Payne
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A balanced and nuanced look behind the click-bait headlines about the effects of screens on kids. I also appreciated the section about parents and screens, and parenting in the digital age.
And the author is brilliant for the TL:DR section - a four page summary of the book. This should be a required part of all parenting books so that the parent who *doesnt* want to read all the details can get a quick synopsis.
Danielle W
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first half is definitely more informative than the second half. The second half wanders a little and becomes repetitive. Overall I appreciated the research, and the nod towards lack of research. The emphasis is not only on how much technology, but what and how you are using it. The biggest benefits to technology are cooperative and interactive use: Skype, building something together, watching a show and talking about it together. Emphasis on together.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Normally books like this can say everything they need to in the first three chapters- this book got better in part 2. Part 2 is about parents and screen time and how it effects our kids.

The whole book does a great job showing valid points and inconstancies with popular schools of thought on the subject of kids, and parents on screens. Has a great commentary on how the standards of motherhood are unfair and unattainable.
Mary Hickman
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book gave me whiplash because it would say how positive screen time can be and then the very next chapter would talk about how important it is to limit screen time for your kids. Its an annoying balance that every parent will need to figure out on their own. I appreciated this book because it gave me a new perspective that not all screen time is bad. It gave some good tips for parents to manage their own personal screen time.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives
  • The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World
  • Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity
  • How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute
  • Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children
  • There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge)
  • How to Raise a Reader
  • All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership
  • Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World
  • Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology
  • Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World
  • Side Effects: A New Orleans Love Story
  • Aprende jugando: Una experiencia de aprendizaje real
  • Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool
  • The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
  • Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
See similar books…
Anya is endlessly curious about learning and the future.

Her forthcoming book, The Art of Screen Time (PublicAffairs, 2018) is the first, essential, dont-panic guide to kids, parents, and screens. You can preorder it now!

Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006), dealt with youth economics and politics; DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (Chelsea Green, 2010),

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
38 likes · 9 comments
“We have to be role models. We have to be curious. Above all, we have to pay attention and be part of the conversation while our kids are still listening to us.” 1 likes
“Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral” 0 likes
More quotes…