The generation in power typically criticizes the up and coming generation. They bemoan how easy life is for the new generation. Mark Bauerlein in The Dumbest Generation identifies this argument as the "old fogy" complaint, even though he denies that his evaluation falls into this category. Bauerlein and Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat both criticize Generation Y for not reading more. I can agree with this argument. At 13 and 10 I still take my children to the library regularly and ask about what they are reading for school and pleasure. I think reading is key to academic success.
However, I question the assertion that screen time is the downfall of this generation. You can learn a great deal from documentaries on TV. Kids can learn strategy, decision making and teamwork from electronic games (Prensky, 2004). Children of this generation need to master technology tools. Their jobs will certainly require use of technology.
I believe the failure of parents today is not being involved with what they children are doing. What kind of games are they playing? What kind of shows are they watching? What lessons are they learning? What are they reading on their Kindle? Talk to your children about Fineas and Ferb. Find out what they are doing on Facebook? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using technology for different tasks. Should we look this word up in dictionary.com or pull the Webster's off the shelf? Go to the school Web site for tomorrow's lunch choice or the calendar in your backpack.
Yes, we should limit screen time, but we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water and cast technology as 100% bad for our kids.