Too Much Technology?
Most children, teens, and even adults use technology a lot. There are smartphones, computers, tablets, television, video games, and other forms of technology as well. There are definitely a lot of benefits from using most of these items. However, like with most things, moderation is important. Here are a few tips to manage the use of technology with children and teens (and even for yourself as well):
1) Put away smartphones, tablets, and computers at least a half hour before bedtime to allow yourself time to unwind. Use of technology too close to bed can affect one’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, don’t leave cell phones, ipods, tablets, or other devices right next to the bed at night. If they vibrate or display alerts, it can disrupt sleep. Also, constantly being aware that they are within arms reach can affect sleep as well.
2) Put away phones and other devices at the dinner table. Enjoy time with family and friends interacting in person. Using technology when conversing with other people in person takes away from enjoyment and quality of direct interactions. Especially for children and teens, it can also encourage them to always feel the need to be doing something.
3) For video games, make expectations for any time limits or earning time clear, and encourage children to self regulate (when able to do so) with balancing video game time with playing outside, reading, and participating in other activities.
4)If a child or teen is going to have hour long text conversations with friends, encourage them to pick up the phone and chat.
Technology is great, but without using it in moderation, has the potential to affect sleep, visual-motor skills, social skills, and a variety of other items as well. Thus, enjoy technology, but find a balance that is right for your child (and even you).
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*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship, and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*