According to a report by Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day on digital technology, excluding work for school.
Given the incredible pull and deep impact technology has on us as adult users, it is no surprise that many young people are struggling to create a healthy relationship with their screens. Teens also talk of feel lonely even when constantly connecting to friends with their phones.
What to do?
- Talk with your teen about the impact of technology use. Ask what they love about it and what they hate about it.
- Create screen-free spaces and times. Carve out times in your life where there is an expectation of phones away. This could be at the dinner table and in bedrooms.
- At school, if phones are allowed, you could choose times during class to have them away. Consider participating in a screen free week.
- Put your phone away when having a conversation with young people and encourage them to do the same. Explain why your value full attention and how it affects you. Young people all have stories about how it felt to have someone ignore them or divide their attention with their phone, so it can be helpful to evoke that experience.
At The Lotus School, students are encouraged to put their phones away and remember their mindfulness practice.