With schools and daycare closed during significant periods of the pandemic, a lot of parents were faced with the daunting task of performing adequately for their employers while at the same time keeping their young children entertained and looked after. An impossible task, but one which for many parents was made easier - especially during Zoom meetings - by putting their kids in front of a screen of some variety. For most parents this was a 'lesser of two evils' situation, where having bored, irate kids full of energy but with no time to dedicate to them was less desirable than increasing their daily digital input - something which most families try to keep to a minimum in normal circumstances.
As a series of surveys by Pew Research Center reveals, around 30 percent of parents with children under the age of 11 in March 2020 already said that their kids were spending too much time playing video games or using a smartphone. When the same parents were asked again in April 2021 though, this had increased to 51 and 42 percent, respectively.