why this is so important for our children?
Through the years of working with young adults and teenagers struggling with screen addiction/overuse, we have seen:
Dramatic decreases in grades
Lack of desire to engage with family and friends
Verbal aggression in the home
Decrease in physical activity
Increase of anxiety and depression
Lack of motivation to take on age appropriate responsibilities
We see the opportunity to be proactive with these impending struggles. This generation of young people are fighting an uphill battle. The technology and video game industry's primary goal is to keep our kids playing games and in front of screens as much as possible. The programmers of these games have discovered ways of meeting our young people’s basic needs, whether it's their sense of community (“I do have friends! They're online,”) self-worth (“You can’t take the game away! I’m so close to leveling up!”) and power (“I have to kill these other players to win.”). Kindness and empathy are not rewarded in these communities. Gaming message boards can be toxic environments focused on “trolling” and bullying and many other social media apps, such as Instagram and Snapchat can promote insecurity and decreased self-worth. The earlier we address these issues, the more malleable the brain and the higher the likelihood for long lasting growth. The time for change is now! Technology is ever-present and growing daily. We have a responsibility to help our children understand how to navigate this technological world in a healthy, balanced way.