Signs of Technology Addiction in Children
In February of this year, one of my students began displaying very bizarre behavior. He was over emotional, couldn't sit still, was rolling all over the floor, would hide in a corner if things didn't go his way, and couldn't focus on competing one task. When I brought this behavior to his mother’s attention, she shared that he was caught playing Fortnight in the middle of the night. She suggested his behavior was the result of having his computer confiscated and she suspected he was experiencing device withdrawal. This made so much sense, because his behavior seemed much like that of a drug addict on detox.
Technology is here to stay. It has its pros and cons. These little devices that can fit in the palm of our hands can be very helpful in getting us to our destinations. storing valuable data, answering burning questions in a a click, or staying connected to loved ones miles away.
What is the cost of this convenience?
According to the New York Times, "Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children." (click on the title to read the article.
What can parents do? The New York Times article makes valuable suggestions. Click to read the follow-up article, "How to Cut Children's Screen Time."
I believe devices are our future, so instead of taking them away, I believe parents and teachers need to help students learn to manage them. As suggested in the article, one would start by leading by example. But I think we need to take it further. In my article next week, I will offer helpful strategies designed to empower students to take control of devices before the devices take control of them.
Summer is the perfect time to teach technology management. Begin today by teaching your children to enjoy the outdoors. Take a nature walk and ask them to find things they have never seen before. That's the first step.