Society today is
moving at an ever increasing pace. Teens are experts at multi-tasking.
It appears they can do their homework, listen to music, talk to 20 of
their friends on Facebook, text another group of friends and watch a
YouTube video all at the same time!
People, not only teenagers, are becoming techno-junkies. They are afraid to be away from their computer
or phone for too long. A new report warns that technology addiction
among young people is having a disruptive effect on their learning,
worsening their spelling and concentration, encouraging plagiarism, and
I encourage parents to teach kids and teens the importance of
balancing real life with screen time. Connected technology should not
overshadow or replace face-to-face communication at any stage of life.
Computer games are dangerously immersive, as they are designed to
be, and players quickly begin to feel pressure to get ahead, or not to
let down their teammates. It is important to point out that although
there are millions of game players and Internet users, only a small
percentage (10-15 percent) develop problems. But if you do suspect
there is a problem in your family, here's how you can spot signs of a
missing homework assignments at school
not interacting at all with the family
When you think your teen has a problem you may be tempted to rip
their computer out of the wall and ban it from them completely. This
often backfires, as you have now taken away the only thing they feel
connects them to the rest of the world. It is time to have a serious
conversation and make some agreements.
7 tips to avoid technology addiction
1.Keep the computer out of their bedroom. This is harder if they are
in the senior high school years as it is used regularly for school work
- remove internet connection
after 10.30 or 11pm.
2. Make agreements around their responsibilities. Household chores
must be done before computers/phones/playstations etc are turned on
3. Set clear guidelines about what, when and how long the technology
can be used.e.g. no phones in the bedroom once it's lights out
4. Get to know the games they play - some are more addictive than others. Play games with your kids
5. Use software that can limit time, games, types of drives that are used.
6. Get kids involved in other activities that are active and include other people
7. Model the behaviour you want to see e.g. no phones answered or texts sent/received during dinner time
Your call to action
Take an inventory of your
own technology use. Are you suffering from a similar addiction to your
'crackberry'! Learn to use the OFF button, especially during dinner