Help! My Daughter’s a Technology Addict!
Is your daughter constantly on her cell phone? Does she check Facebook 2498756 times a day? Does she seem to fall to pieces when she off the grid for more than a few short minutes? Sounds like most of my clients these days…. What gives??
Today’s girls are being raised in an environment that naturally predisposes them to technology addiction. From school hours to extracurriculars, screen time is virtually unavoidable. Video games and computers dominate the home, and schools are in the process of converting to digital textbooks and online homework systems.
Furthermore, adolescents are prime targets for technology overload. Adolescents crave connection with friends more than anything, and technology makes it easier than ever to fulfill this basic need. From tweets to texts to emails to blogs to profiles, adolescents are eager to express their identity and are seeking approval from their peers via comments and praise. Adolescence provides fertile soil for the weeds of technology to become overgrown and out of control.
So what can you do about it, mom and dad? Go on a digital diet. Now don’t panic, I said “diet” not “detox”. With new statistics revealing that teens 12-17 years old text a median of 60 times a day, going text-free cold turkey would undoubtedly lead to a nasty withdrawal.
But seriously, our access to people, places and things is greater than ever. Unfortunately, that access often prevents teens from connecting in person, staying present and focusing for extended periods of time. I encourage you to designate a portion of every day as “screen free.” That means no cell phones, laptops, ipods, tablets, TV, video games, etc. Although your teen might bark initially, I guarantee they will learn to enjoy being disconnected for a bit– even relieved to be free from constant contact. And that goes for you too, mom and dad! Take 30 minutes a day to unplug and watch what happens. I promise you’ll like the results.