How to Help Your Child Have Tech Balance

HEALTHY LIVING  | 4.11.18  |  by Terra Wellington

Have you heard of the “Truth About Tech” campaign?  It’s an effort to inform consumers about tech addiction, and to put pressure on the tech industry to make its products less addicting.  We thought we’d share some of the findings from the campaign, to help your child have more tech balance.

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Why It’s a Problem

According to the “Truth About Tech” campaign –

  • Teenagers use an average of nine hours of media per day, and tweens use an average of six (Common Sense Census, 2015), and while many innovative technologies provide valuable experiences for kids, the amount of tech in their lives has negative effects.
  • Half of teens feel addicted to their mobile devices, and the majority of parents (60 percent) feel their kids are addicted, according to a 2016 Common Sense report on technology addiction.
  • A recent study of eighth-graders by Jean Twenge, author of iGen, found that heavy users are 56 percent more likely to say they are unhappy; 27 percent more likely to be depressed; and 35 percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide.

What You Can Do About It

We love these 5 simple steps, put together by one of the campaign’s partners Common Sense Media


Take a Time Out

Ana Homayoun in the New York Times recently wrote about the tech addiction issue.  And one of the tips is to have a tech time out.

Devices like Circle and apps like OurPact give parents the ability to automate access, disable access to certain apps after a certain hour and build in structured time off to promote rest. The psychologist Larry Rosen, who has researched technology and the brain and is a co-author of “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World,” said one of the most important steps is to remove the phone from the bedroom at night.