A computer image of a child looks out from a mobile device on a yellow background

New TVO podcast ‘Screen Time’ tackles big questions about kids and digital devices

Premiering Thursday, March 10, critical thinking and inspiring solutions abound in this vital, parent-focused podcast

Parents everywhere are trying to find the best ways to incorporate or limit technology in their children’s lives—and the pandemic hasn’t made it any easier. Premiering Thursday, March 10, 2022 on TVO.orgApple PodcastsSpotify and anywhere podcasts are availableScreen Time is a new podcast that delves into how the technological revolution has outpaced research about what’s healthy for children. This can’t-miss series shares questions, information and insight to help parents, caregivers and educators everywhere navigate our digital world.

“Modern life is deeply entangled with online experiences that have become vital to our sense of self, and yet questions remain about how these experiences impact our development and well-being—and this is more profound for children today and in the future,” says John Ferri, TVO’s VP of Current Affairs and Documentaries. “Screen Time is essential listening for anyone interested in or concerned with young people’s interaction with technology.”

Co-produced by TVO and Antica Productions (This Being Human), this six-episode podcast includes fascinating conversations with parents and kids along with leading experts and policymakers. Hosted by Beaverbrook Chair of Media, Ethics & Communication at McGill University, Taylor Owen, and technology journalist Nicole EdwardsScreen Time guides listeners through the vast, rapidly evolving social experiment that is the technological revolution. Through Screen Time, listeners will hear from the researchers making evidence-based findings on this topic at McGill University.

“We, and our kids, are part of an ongoing experiment–and we all have to make tough choices about how to integrate technology in our lives. We are thrilled to partner with TVO and some of the world’s top researchers at McGill University and beyond to provide some provisional answers,” says Stuart Coxe, the show’s Executive Producer and President of Antica Productions.

The podcast explores highly relevant topics like screen time and brain development, online games as virtual playgrounds and the impact of social media on mental health in teens. Screen Time also zooms out to understand the larger forces affecting Internet-connected kids, like business models that profit from children’s online activities and what can be done to enhance safety.

  • Episode 1: Gaming, the metaverse and online socializing for kids. “Are kids’ virtual friendships as healthy as in-person socializing?”
  • Episode 2: Brain development and phones/tablets. “Are tablets breaking my kid’s brain?”
  • Episode 3: Social media apps and how they shape reality for teens. “What makes apps like Instagram so powerful, and how can parents tell if a child’s social media use is harming their mental health?”
  • Episode 4: YouTube and collecting kids’ data. “Is YouTube exploiting my kid for profit?”
  • Episode 5: Children’s online safety. “How safe is my teen online?”
  • Episode 6: Where do we go from here? A conversation about regulation. “Why do big tech companies treat my kid as an adult at 13?”

While the metaverse may seem like an abstract concept, many children are already living within it. Screen Time presents an important opportunity to build technological literacy and develop an informed approach for rethinking our increasingly online world. 

Listen to the new TVO podcast Screen Time on Thursdays, starting March 10, 2022.