It's All About Balance - How to Avoid Excessive Technology Use
Be Concerned: Research has shown that digital media over-use and addiction negatively impacts brain development, learning and attention, mental and physical health, social skills, emotional intelligence, coping, self-esteem and independence. This is not an exhaustive list of potential difficulties.
Act Responsibly: Model a balanced digital diet with clear boundaries and plenty of real-life experiences. Explain the need for balance and the many reasons why this is important for your child in order to maintain healthy development, mental and physical well-being and future success as an adult.
Live intentionally: Become aware of your own beliefs, attitudes and habits regarding entertainment technologies and screens. Re-connect to the core values, beliefs intentions by which you live your life. Make choices that support these values and well-being and maintain a consciously balanced relationship with digital media and virtual reality.
Acquire Knowledge: There is a growing body of research, qualitative material and information available on cyber-addiction and its negative impacts on development, learning and cognition, coping, mental and physical health and social and emotional skills and well-being. Read, engage, explore and practice.
Notice Frequently: Remain vigilant in observing your own habits and those of your family members regarding digital media and screens. It is easy to slip back into problematic patterns of overuse and the resulting negative consequences. Periodically assess and resume the healthy boundaries and limits you have established.
Cultivate Connection: Real life, in person connection. Despite what many media companies would have us believe; NOTHING CAN REPLACE LIVE AND IN-PERSON HUMAN INTERACTION. It is only through this type of engagement that we can truly fulfill the need all humans have to connect. Seek out opportunities to be involved with others in real life and offer your children ample opportunity for this as well.
Educate Others: Cyber-addiction and digital media overuse has become a pervasive issue in our society that I would define, like South Korea and China have already done, as a public health crisis. Many individuals have a vague sense of this problem but do not fully understand why this is happening, exactly how and in what ways cyberaddiction and digital media overuse negatively impacts us, and what to do in order to change and improve. Please share what you learn and know with anyone who will listen, starting with children as soon as they can understand and MOST DEFINITELY before they own a mobile device.