Episode 7: Tech Addiction - Some Parenting Guidance on this Pressing Childhood Epidemic
In this episode, I discuss the documentary Screenagers and the silent screen addiction epidemic that we are facing as a society.
I had been wanting to attend a screening of Screenagers and was coincidentally invited to be a panelist at a private school in my home city. Needless to say, I had a pit in my stomach as I watched the reality of what we are facing in terms of screen addiction and how it affects our kids and ourselves, frankly.
The documentary validates much of what I teach when it comes to looking for a quick pleasure fix in the form of a screen. The movie includes the latest research in neuroscience and how screens affect our dopamine receptors in the same way as hard drugs. When our kids grow up on screens, we are literally hardwiring them for drug addiction. Super scary.
I happen to love technology myself. It’s the reason why I can create a podcast and share it with you. I struggle and worry about many of the issues mentioned in the film with my own kids so I could totally relate. The conversation after the screening involved the feeling that we are immersed in uncharted territory when it comes to the effects of screens on our kids’ developing brains. Rules and regulations are needed and right now we are educating ourselves, increasing awareness and beginning the conversations that must happen to keep our kids safe in this new virtual reality surrounding their childhood.
I share my thoughts on how to handle adopting tech rules in your household as well as how to conduct a productive conversation with your kids about this uncharted subject matter. And as always remember that whether it’s technology, sleep, food, school work or whatever the subject concerning your family, the steps are to:
- Adopt a set of rules
- Repeat them often
- Follow through consistently.
Technology rules that are productively communicated is a great example of how to set your family up for success rather than constantly fighting about this very present modern issue. I share some of my own family rules and conversations about technology in this podcast.
- Screenagers documentary https://www.screenagersmovie.com/
- Screen addiction https://nypost.com/2017/12/04/heres-how-to-tell-if-your-child-has-a-screen-addiction/
- Dopamine and screen addiction http://yourbrainhealth.com.au/dopamine-cause-digital-addiction/
- Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids-and How to Break the Trance book quote: “Brain imaging research is showing that stimulating glowing screens are as dopaminergic (dopamine activating) to the brain's pleasure center as sex. And a growing mountain of clinical research correlates screen tech with disorders like ADHD, addiction, anxiety, depression, increased aggression, and even psychosis. Most shocking of all, recent brain imaging studies conclusively show that excessive screen exposure can neurologically damage a young person's developing brain in the same way that cocaine addiction can. “
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