As a high school business teacher, I have heard other adults share concerns about how often teens use technology. I agree that teenagers’ screen time can be concerning. I have observed that kids’ consciousness of their excessive use of devices is pleasantly surprising, though. When asked about whether kids spend too much time on technology, at least half of the class usually answers in the affirmative.
It is easy to see why teens understand the more harmful side effects of technology and continue to use it anyway. After all, take a look at their parents. Adults can spew a plethora of reasons why kids should limit technology, but many hypocritically spend all day on their own phones or tablets, allowing electronics to eat up their time, attention, and productivity. I am guilty of this, and I know many other adults are, as well. Sometimes people don’t even realize how much time they spend on technology until they check the clock and realize they’ve been sitting in the same place for an hour.
Many assume that kids are unavoidably predisposed to the harmful effects of technology in today’s world. They are growing up in the information age where they inevitably have a connection to the world at their fingertips. However, there are some things adults can do to help foster self-awareness in kids around them.
The first thing adults need to do is check their own habits. My first couple years of teaching, I felt so hypocritical harping on students about the negative effects of technology use when I fell right into that habit as soon as I left work. Kids notice how often adults are on their phones. If you are going to try and help them set boundaries in one breath, but are glued to your phone in the next, your efforts will be ineffective.
Share the strategies that help you keep your own technology dependence under control with the teenagers in your life. Tell them about how you set timers for yourself. Ask them to help you be accountable to your goal of only checking your Instagram once daily. Explain how they can silence their notifications so they aren’t constantly distracted.
Finally, set some boundaries for technology at home, especially if you have kids. It is vital for kids to experience face-to-face communication and build relationships in real life. It may take some creativity to keep them entertained at first. Consider cooking together, playing a board game, or getting outside for some fresh air. Show your kids that there are fun things to do that don’t require being absorbed in a screen.
It is easy to pick on kids for their technology attachment issues, but many adults have them, too. By being transparent about your own screen time issues, you are setting a healthy example for kids to follow.
Photo by Pixabay
Have you read the original anthology that started it all? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all-access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class, and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group, and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.