Limit Social Media Use
Social networks have transformed computer and mobile use for Canadians of all ages. Whether its , Twitter, or Snapchat, impose limits on the amount of time you spend on socia media. Avoid aimless browsing and give your time online a purpose: Research holidays, catch up on the news of the day or find the answer to that random question thats been bothering you for ages. Then log off!
Tips To Help Children Avoid Technology Overuse During Covid
Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development has brought together leading international experts in the fields of media addiction, parenting, education, child psychology and psychiatry to present helpful advice for avoiding problematic technology use during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
More tips for parents and clinicians plus the latest scientific research on what we know about tech addiction were discussed in the popular Ask The Expertsweekly seminar via Zoom. Moderated by Dr. Gaya Dowling, PhD , an esteemed interdisciplinary panel lent their expertise on how to recognize problematic tech use, how to limit the harmful impacts of excessive screen time, and what families can do to promote positive behavior on-and-offline during this stressful summer of COVID-19.
PARENTS HAVE THE POWER
TRADE THE BEDROOM FOR THE FAMILY ROOM
QUIT BEING A HYPOCRITE!
GIMME A BREAK
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Allowing a set time for your childs technology use in the morning and evening will help them get it out of their system and move on with the rest of their day. At home, be sure to have tech-free times and tech-free spaces , and when the phone isnt in use, make sure your children put it away. Out of sight, out of mind! Dr. Daria J. Kuss, Associate Professor in Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, UK
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
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Touro Professor Addresses Risks Of Too Much Screen Time And Shares Tips For Parents
Ask almost any parent about their childs screen time and you will hear concern that it has skyrocketed over the past ten months. While technology can help children maintain their friendships and connections during the pandemic, too much digital time can pose risks. Overuse can lead to cyberbullying and harassment for children, depression, anxiety and too little physical exercise for all.
To help keep children healthy and safe, Touro College Graduate School of Social Work professor Dr. Steven Pirutinsky offers advice. Parents need to work together with their children to manage technology. Every situation is different. Take the time to understand both your child and the technology, he said. Dr. Pirutinskys tips for parents include:
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How To Break A Phone Addiction
You can forge a happier relationship with your devices by using them more mindfully.
How to Build a Life is a weekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness. to listen to his new podcast series on all things happiness, How to Build a Happy Life.
By now, nearly everyone knows we can be addicted to our digital devices. In the words of Anna Lembke, a psychiatrist and an addiction specialist at Stanford, Just about all of us have a digital drug of choice, and it probably involves using a smartphonethe equivalent of the hypodermic needle for a wired generation.
The data suggest that Lembkes claim is not hyperbole. For example, the average smartphone user rarely goes two hours without using her device, unlocks her device 50 or more times a day, and swipes or taps on it as many as 2,617 times in the process. The young are particularly afflicted: A 2018 Pew Research Center report found that 44 percent of teens said they often check their devices for messages or notifications as soon as they wake up, 54 percent said they spend too much time on their mobile phone, and 42 percent feel anxiety when they do not have it. Those who compulsively check , Instagram, or WhatsApp might have felt a version of this anxiety earlier this week, when the apps all vanished from the internet for a few hours.
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Am I Addicted To My Phone
Genuine addiction to anything is obviously something to be avoided. Here check a few questions that can help you to understand whether excessive screen time is a problem issue for you or your child:
- Do you get nervous when cant find your phone immediately? Does the discomfort continue until you find the phone?
- Are you constantly checking your mail, social media profile or messenger chat even when youre not expecting a specific message or call? Do you do this even when someone in the same room is vying for your attention?
- Do you spend more time chatting on social media than face to face?
- Do you closely follow the latest news in mobile technology to ensure you have the latest devices, functionalities and fad apps?
- Do you find it uncomfortable to turn your phone off, even when the situation calls for it?
- Do you text or read your Facebook feed while driving?
- Do you ever bump into other people or objects because your nose is in your screen while you walk?
- Are you the app king among your friends? By which I mean that you regularly download a lot of new stuff but dont use them for long before searching for the next thing?
- Do you take the phone everywhere with you ?
- Is your most commonly used word Pardon? or something equivalent, because your attention is on your phone?
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Try These Tips Tricks And Habits: How To Stop Being Addicted To Your Phone
It can be hard for a lot of people with a cell phone addiction, or an addiction to Facebook or other social media apps, to imagine being without their phone for even a few minutes. They devote a lot of time and energy into their social media apps. If you feel anxious when youre without your phone, there are a few options that could help reduce your dependence on your device.
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Types Of Technology Addictions
Technology addiction is not yet listed in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, so there are no formal classifications of it as a disorder. But David Greenfield, PhD, a psychologist and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction in Hartford, Conn., says that technology addiction typically takes one of the following forms:
- Internet addiction. This is an over-dependence on Internet-connected devices. People may spend hours browsing online shopping sites, playing online games like Candy Crush, or accessing the Internet in some other way.
- Sexual content addiction. People who have this form of technology addiction are obsessed with consuming sexually-oriented content on the Internet.
- Social media addiction. Social media addicts cant stop using sites like Facebook and Twitter even though they may want to. Their work performance or academic performance may suffer because theyre so distracted, tracking and broadcasting their lives on these social media sites, Greenfield says.
Though there arenât yet formal criteria for the disorder, Strohman says that a diagnosis is possible if you have one or more of these symptoms: loss of time due to technology, withdrawal from people, negative consequences at work or in your relationships, and a higher tolerance for technology like one game is no longer enough.
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Current State Of Technology Addiction
The subject of technology addiction is now so omnipresent that a whole market has emerged concerned with digital withdrawal. The camp for adults run by Camp Grounded in Navarro, California, wisely located near San Francisco, is just one of many examples.
Digital Detox also offers days filled with activities such as talent shows, painting and creative writing, retreats including green smoothies and yoga, all organised by the Oakland-based company. Their motto: Disconnect to reconnect. They all have one thing in common: You have to hand in your devices at the entrance.
But what if youre not ready to go cold turkey and pay hundreds of dollars to hand over your mobile phone? With our 8 small everyday tips, you can quickly restore the balance between working productively with the help of technology and endless internet surfing.
Find That Dont Involve Technology
Believe it or not, technology usage typically occurs due to boredom. You may be bored and choose to fill your empty time with social media or video gaming. This can cause a technology addiction to develop because you start to feel as though you have to fill every moment of your day with some form of technology. Its best to try to find things that you enjoy doing that dont rely on social media. This could include taking a cooking class, enjoying yoga, playing a card game with friends or even going to a trivia night at a local restaurant. Finding things that allow you to escape from day to day life, without relying on technology, can be very beneficial. It can also be a way for you to find new things you enjoy doing that you didnt even realize you liked.
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The Struggle With Teens And Technology
My work around mindful technology use started because I keep finding myself in conversations with students, parents, and teachers about the ways they are struggling with technology. A fourth grader describes how he gets into a rage when he plays video games. In a room full of middle schoolers, every single student raises a hand when I ask if theyve ever been stressed out by social media. High school students sheepishly admit that they are up past midnight scrolling away, mindlessly, on their phones. Parents and teachers frequently relate that they are troubled by their own compulsive checking of their phones, in addition to their concerns about the young people in their care.
American teenagers average about nine hours a day of entertainment media use, excluding time spent at school or for homework.
Given the incredible pull and deep impact technology has on us as adult users, it is no surprise that many young people are struggling to create a healthy relationship with their screens. According to a Common Sense Media report, teens spend an average of nine hours a day on digital technology, excluding work for school. Because screens are ubiquitous, it is rarely an option to cut them out completely, so we must learn to engage with them in a healthy way. If not, we jeopardize our well-being.
Treatment For Addiction To Technology
The first step in preventing addiction to technology is reducing dependence on the Internet. One study found that technology itself can be harnessed to help teens avoid addiction. A team at Cornell Tech tested a tool that triggered smartphone vibrations every five seconds when a participant stayed on the Facebook app past a predetermined time limit. In their study, participants spent while using the reminder tool.
In addition, a digital detox can support teens in reducing tech dependence. Unplugging from the constant stimuli offered by the digital world gives a teenagers nervous system a chance to rebalance. Moreover, disconnecting creates space and time for IRL activities, like connecting with friends, spending time in nature, and being more physically active.
Creating healthy habits around tech use is essential for teens. However, a serious addiction to technology, like an addiction to substances, requires professional treatment. Thats because its almost always a symptom of underlying issues, such as trauma, low self-esteem, attachment issues, and depression.
At Newport Academy, our teen treatment programs address these core issues. Teens can heal from tech addiction just as they heal from substance abuse: through clinical approaches and experiential therapy that help them find balance and build positive coping skills for the long term.
Data Brief. 2018 Dec 21:12161219.J Addict Med. 2012 Mar 6:7784.Nature. 1998 May 21 393:266-8.
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Tips For Managing Smart Phones
Simple ways to help your teen look up from their phone:
- 1.Wait until 8th! This organization encourages parents to pledge to wait till 8th grade to give their child a smart phone.
- 2.Be good role models with your smart phone usage.
- 3.Start with a flip phone and have a no-delete rule for texting. Only parents should delete.
- 4.Phones must be turned over when requested by parents.
- 5.Create smart phone free zones and times in the house. No phones at the dinner table.
- 6.Keep school free of mobile devices. The temptation to hide a phone under a table in order to sneak a game in can be overwhelming for the developing brain
- 7.Talk to and do research with your kids about various apps. Help them be aware of various dangers and the potential social dramas inherent in social media usage. Discuss how others might perceive messaging.
- 8.Talk to you child about use of privacy settings when utilizing apps.
- 9.For older teens, teach and role model turning the apps to no notifications during family time and during homework.
- 10.Block specific times of twenty minutes to check social media.
- 11.Dont save, send or forward pornographic material.
- 12.Discuss consequences ahead of time for misuse and how responsible usage equals increased freedoms
Depression And Technology Dependence
The research is clear on the link between technology and mental health: Teens who use social media and play video games are more anxious and depressed. However, experts arent certain whether teen depression stems from too much tech time, or if overuse of tech is a symptom of depression. Either way, its a vicious cycle that creates a perfect storm for addiction to technology.
Nicholas Kardaras writes about technology dependence in his book Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kidsand How to Break the Trance. According to Kardaras, addiction, in general, is less about the particular substance or behavior than about the underlying perfect storm of genetic, psychological, environmental and neurobiological factors that make a person ripe for addiction.
In the case of tech dependence, kids who are isolated and in pain are particularly vulnerable to onscreen experiences that help them feel a sense of escape and connection. Furthermore, Kardaras writes, those children may be drawn to other addictive substances once they taste digital drugs.
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Ways To Overcome Technology Addiction
- According to research, at least 64% people spend 4 hours of their leisure time in front of the computer. This is similar to watching TV and is therefore associated with increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes. To kick out this habit, here are few tips:
Solution: Go for a walk, cycling or get some physical activity for at least an hour before logging on to your computer. Do rearranging of your furniture so that television is no longer a focal point of the room. Read book or magazine and make a point that you would be reading minimum 10 pages before turning on your computer. Create a list of activities or projects such as cleaning up of messy cupboard, organizing recipes, painting on bedroom walls, sorting out sewing materials.
- Smartphones today find its application in checking the bank balance, investing, sharing photos, chatting. Imagine the impact of losing it and this would then add up to a lot of anxiety and stress. There are times when you will feel itÂs just vibrated, but it may be a false alarm. Sometimes you run back home while going to store just to pick your phone. Getting poor grades in school can also be blamed to cell phone addiction.
Solution: Reset your brain to better control to surf, text or tweet and put your mind at ease by taking scheduled “tech breaks”. Limit your time on social networking sites and use your time on internet surfing for holidays, reading news websites or looking for books.
Take Small Steps To Make Coping Easier
Its easy to say switch off your phone but not so easy to do. One way around it is to set yourself a target that you can stick to.
For instance, you might take a 15-minute walk and force yourself to leave your phone at home. Once you get used to it, you can stretch it out to 20 minutes, half an hour, and so on. The secret is to do something small at first and gradually build up to a limit youre comfortable with.
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Treatment Of Technology Addiction
Technology addiction falls into the category of compulsive behavior that it is difficult or impossible to simply abstain from, like food or sex addictions. Thus, treatment for technology addiction involves educating teens and young adults about what is happening in their brains and bodies, recognizing the consequences of their compulsion, helping them to set limits and interrupt the compulsive cycle, and find alternatives.
Sandstone Care integrates treatment of technology addiction into its programs by treating is as a cooccurring mental health disorder. As referenced, technology addiction is often present with other disorders including anxiety, depression, trauma, or substance use. So taking a holistic and comprehensive treatment approach is important in order to help achieve sustainable recovery.
Some of the treatment modalities that Sandstone Care uses include:
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Its Okay To Put Your Phone Down And Enjoy Life
Its normal to take your phone with you. It is also natural to check your phone when you are driving, while shopping, or while watching movies. Many people use their phones as a replacement for a watch and an alarm clock!
However, if you start to feel that this habit is becoming a problem for you, its time to change. If you constantly check your phone during work hours and the rest of the day, then the gadgets will become more important than the person who owns them. This could lead to serious issues.
If there are things that bother you more than checking your social media accounts on your phone, then its time to change them. You can try changing some of these habits to avoid this addiction from getting out of hand.
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