Gwen Lewis is a writer and content manager who lives in California. She has been in the health industry for years and loves writing on the topic to give tips from experience. In her free time she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf.
“Technology seems to run our lives. Our phones keep us connected—online and offline. But there can be too much tech. And many of us find ourselves virtually tethered to our devices, awaiting the next text, social media update or call.
Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone, and, yes, it’s a very real issue. If you find yourself a little nervous or twitchy when your phone isn’t accessible, you may have nomophobia. According to Psychology Today, many students in both high school and college suffer from a clinging reliance to their cell phones.
How bad is this dependence? The article noted that 65 percent of individuals in the U.S. actually sleep with our phones nearby and more than one in three people actually answered their phone during intimate relations.
But nomophobia has nothing on the rise of all-out tech addiction. More and more teens are addicted to their phones. Cell phone addiction is prevalent enough that there are now treatment programs to help those afflicted to overcome their addiction.
Technology is beneficial, but too much of anything can be unhealthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that parents of children older than age 6 “place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.”
If you’re concerned about your kids (or even you) having too much tech time, it might be time to monitor just how often you and the family are reaching for your devices. Is the phone coming to the dinner table? How many hours do you spend talking, texting…surfing the web? When you begin to realize that your family’s phones are taking a toll, it might be time to go on a tech detox. While going cold turkey might be too dramatic, try a few little changes to slowly decrease your tech dependence
Set Tech Boundaries
Family time is important. Insist that phones are not used at the dinner table. Have a basket where family members should drop their gadgets before sitting down to a meal. Focus on conversation, and use the time together to discuss the day’s events. Family events also should be tech-free. While snapping pics is ok, set rules for texting and talking on devices.
Use Parental Controls
Many phones allow parents to set time limits for a teen’s phone. Use the parental controls functions to limit when your teen can talk, text and/or socialize online. Be sure to talk to them about all limits so that there aren’t any surprises! Monitoring software also may be used to set time limits or to limit what apps can be downloaded to a phone, but, again, make sure teens know they are monitored and that this is a stipulation for phone use.
Set a Good Example
Kids learn by watching the adults around them. If your teen sees you on your phone all the time, then the tech use will seem to be the norm. Limit your cell phone use and engage your child…instead of playing games online or surfing on the web.
Schedule Technology Time
We all love our devices! To control phone and device use, set a designated time for family tech use. Choose an hour at night for everyone to surf and play on their devicesTechnology is a major part of our society now. While we can’t give up our devices permanently, families can and should set limits on their use. Designate family tech time, set up parental controls and make sure all family members know when it’s unacceptable to talk or text. Family time and face-to-face engagement should not take a back seat to screen time."
Article by Gwen Lewis
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