Here’s a chance for you to use a bit of your allotted screen time to learn about how screen time is in the news this week.
Merriam-Webster added more than 640 words to its dictionary during the month of April, reporting that the English language never sleeps and that the work of revising a dictionary is constant.
Among those words was screen time, which anyone who has stared at a device or put their kid in front of one has most likely used as a word. Merriam-Webster’s official second definition of the noun is “time spent watching television, playing a video game, or using an electronic device with a screen (such as a smartphone or tablet).”
The definition has clearly evolved since its first known usage in 1921, according to Merriam-Webster, when it was used to define “the amount of time someone or something appears on screen in a movie or television show.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization released a new set of guidelines this week aimed at kids and devices, and said that infants under 1 year old should not be exposed to electronic screens at all, and children between 2 and 4 should not have more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” each day, as reported by The New York Times.
The intention is for kids to develop healthier habits around exercise and sleep.
A good place to get away from screens might be with an actual printed dictionary.