Originally published Aug. 30, 2021

There's a news story today out of Beijing that describes the new restrictions being put on children limiting online games to 3 hours per week. Minors will only be able to play games between 8 and 9 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and on public holidays. I love the idea of parents limiting their child's game time, but China is doing it to limit the influence on their culture. Especially from outside technology companies.

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Have you ever thought about how much of the world your child is missing while they have their face buried in the phone or playing games? I don't know what the average each day is, but it has to be close to 5-8 hours.

Part of our job is to get people to spend time online, searching, scrolling, reading anything that will keep them connected to each other and us. I struggle with this for a couple of reasons.

Number one is I think there are a lot more productive things a person can and should be doing. When it comes to our youth, we are denying them the true social skills that they could be developing outside of their electronic device. Fortunately, our kids have a lot they can do outside that inner-city kids can't, but that doesn't seem to make a difference.

It's just the way things are now, but if you can control the time that your kids spend online, consider it a win. Little rules like no phones during dinner are a start. Look up everyone, there is a great big beautiful world here in Montana that you are missing and online images, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok videos could never do the real natural world justice.

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To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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