Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

Digital Dependence: Is This Legislation a Solution?

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Wired-Wednesdays | Marcy Axness, PhD | Parenting for Peace

Concern over the effects of digital dependence is clearly something you share with me if you’re following these posts. One of the most pressing of these concerns is how it impacts the rapidly-developing brain circuitry of children and adolescents, and can impair and rewire their capacities for social intelligence. (See second post in the list below.)

Yesterday it was announced that an action group in Colorado is introducing an initiative to ban cell phone sales to children under the age of 13. You can find many articles about it via Google, but for now, here is Salon’s take.

And…. go!

My idea here is to throw open a discussion, even if it’s just inside your own head. Better yet, bring it up at the dinner table or around the pool. How do you react as you read about this activist’s efforts? Are there points that resonate with you? Points on which you disagree or would push back? Do you have alternative ideas for tackling the real concerns raised?

I think it’s an important exercise to get ourselves thinking along these lines. Digital Dependence (and all the effects that go along with it) is uncharted territory. This group’s efforts may or may not be as graceful, nuanced or feasible as can be, but they probably are the first of many attempts to rein in what feels like a runaway situation. (Take a look at one of the comments following the article–an amusing, if chilling, comparison of it to Pandora’s box.)

For your reading convenience, here are the past Wired Wednesday posts:

Digital Dependence & Parental Anxiety: Keeping Trust Alive

Digital Dependence & Social Intelligence: Is Siri Dumbing Down our Humanity?

Taming Tech to Protect Sleep: A No-Brainer for Healthy Brains

Digital Mastery Tools for Parents: Slow Tech & iRules

Brain Hacking: Hijacking You from the Inside

Attention Deficits & Digital Devotion: 2 Pitfalls for Parents

“Don’t Use Your Device When…”: 2 Great Guidelines for Digital Mastery

Digital Imitation of Life: How Facebook is Like a Box of Donuts

Dataclysm in the Time of Alone Togetherness: Authors on Our Digital Dependence

Pained in Plain Sight: Digital Dependence Effects on the Body

Introduction

Whether you’re curious, captivated or concerned about our digital dependence and device devotion, join me on (most) Wednesdays so we can explore it together. (Sign up here if you want to be sure not to miss anything!) ….. …..

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Digital Dependence & Parental Anxiety: Keeping Trust Alive

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Digital Dependence, Parental Anxiety and Trust | Marcy Axness, PhD
Parenting is a daunting safari into the unknown. It is a safari that will routinely lead you beyond the reach of the techno-savvy that has us convinced we can figure out and control everything in our lives. So for many, it’s a safari into parental anxiety.

What can you do about parental anxiety? Develop your own personal anxiety antidote: TRUST. A powerful antidote for parental anxiety, trust connects you to an unparalleled source of strength, paradoxically called “surrender”–perhaps the most important resources in your parenting toolbox! Along with a good supply of onesies, I counsel expectant parents to invest in and actively build their “trust fund.”

I define trust as “calm reliance upon processes outside of your immediate perception and control”; it is one of the seven principles that weave through my book Parenting for Peace. For those of us weaned on the information revolution, trust is probably the most subversive P4P principle of them all. When it isn’t overwhelming us, our instant access to infinite amounts of data on any topic has us convinced that by virtue of our techno-savvy, we can indeed figure out and be in charge of every aspect of our lives.

But Life will always manage to outrun your techno-management, trust me.

Prevent Parental Anxiety: Build Your “Trust Fund”

Begin now, I tell new parents, to cultivate a fond taste for mystery and the unfathomable. (more…)

Digital Dependence & Social Intelligence: Is Siri Dumbing Down Our Humanity?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Is our technological wizardry with its infinite stream of instant answers eroding what makes us most human? Is digital dependence undermining our social intelligence?

During my strolls through Costco, a persistent thought comes to me (besides yum, those pizza samples are good):  If I were an evil genius wanting to erode the nutritional intelligence of a civilization, this would be a good first step: induce mass consumer hypnosis via the big-box store. (Will return to this point in a bit.)

During my infrequent strolls down streets with actual pedestrians, a persistent question comes to me: How will our culture’s mass digital dependence affect this generation’s social intelligence?  (more…)

Taming Tech to Protect Sleep: A No-Brainer for Healthy Brains

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Digital-Dependence-Parenting-for-Peace

Whenever you want to make healthier choices, like going on a diet, the most successful strategy is to focus on the benefits and yumminess of what you can have, rather than on what you’re giving up. It’s true with food, and it’s true with tech. Zeroing in on specific priorities, like to protect sleep, is going to make it much easier to tame your digital devotion into healthier balance—and by extension, establish healthier tech habits in your children.

Protect Sleep, The “Royal Cradle of Growth”

Sleep is Nature’s own simple treasure, offered to us nightly free of charge, and yet we frequently shine it on in favor of all manner of other trivial pursuits. And we suffer for it.

The list of reasons to protect sleep is long. And it’s full of things that impact very important features of lifelong health—many of them related to your brain. Protect your sleep and your children’s, and Life will thank you many times over with vitality that cannot be duplicated by any other means.

A Simple Way to Protect Sleep

Here’s psychiatrist (and a longtime mentor in the field of attachment neurobiology) Dan Siegel with a 2-minute crash-course in why you want to get in the habit of turning off your smartphone or tablet an hour or two before bed. (more…)

Digital Mastery Tools for Parents: Slow Tech & iRules

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Digital-Dependence-Parenting-for-Peace So let’s say you’ve been nodding your head at what you’ve read so far in this series (not to mention lots of other places) about the quiet costs of digital devotion… but what now?? What do you DO about it?! How do you tame the iBeast you invited in, before you realized it was hacking your children’s brain chemistry to engineer their deepening digital dependence? How do you transform iWorries into iRules? Assuming you’ve checked out the two solid entry-level guidelines I offered a few weeks ago, and you’re looking for some next-level ideas, Janell Burley Hofmann has some road-tested family tools for you.

Starting with her Slow Tech Manifesto: (more…)

BRAIN HACKING: Hijacking You From the Inside

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

A WARNING FROM TECH INSIDERS

What do you, me and Anderson Cooper have in common? A creeping suspicion that we have, to some degree, an addiction to our devices. That was Cooper’s opening question for former Google product manager Tristan Harris during his “Brain-Hacking” segment on 60 Minutes this week.

What followed makes my job easy for this Wired Wednesday: I suggest… nay, I implore… you to see this episode. And with due recognition to the efficiency demands of our current “attention economy,” you don’t even need to spend the time it would take to watch the episode: CBS News has kindly provided a transcript that you can read through very quickly.

Yup, you can have your (brain-hacked) mind blown in a mere 3 minutes. Is it chilling? For sure. Frightening? Definitely. Surprising? Not really. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Attention Deficits & Digital Devotion

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Wired Wednesdays | Marcy Axness, PhD | Parenting for Peace

TWO PITFALLS FOR PARENTS

“We all understand the joys of our always-wired world — the connections, the validations, the laughs, the porn, the info. I don’t want to deny any of them here. But we are only beginning to get our minds around the costs, if we are even prepared to accept that there are costs.

“For the subtle snare of this new technology is that it lulls us into the belief that there are no downsides. It’s all just more of everything. Online life is simply layered on top of offline life. We can meet in person and text beforehand. We can eat together while checking our feeds.”

This from Andrew Sullivan in his New York Magazine article, “I Used to Be a Human Being,” chronicling his web addiction, recovery and reflections. The piece is extraordinary… and extraordinarily long. So, I aim to tease out excerpts from it to enrich the Wired Wednesday series.

Today, two aspects of digital dependence of particular concern for parents, related to attention deficits: these can have a deep and direct impact upon your developing child’s brain circuitry. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: “Don’t Use Your Device When…”

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

TWO GREAT GUIDELINES FOR DIGITAL MASTERY

As with most of the principles and ideas in my book, these are oh-so-simple, but not always oh-so-easy!

1: Don’t Use Your Device While Doing Anything Else

To me this seems like a no-brainer, but that turns out to be a highly old-fashioned attitude. The very portability of our devices reinforces our digital dependence by eliminating virtually all barriers to their use–and voilá, a feed-forward loop that has established habitual multi-tasking device usage as the new normal in less than a decade.

Indeed, it wasn’t even ten years ago when you had to go to your desk… or at best to your laptop, sitting over there… to check your email, play solitaire or do that IMDb search. Doing those things was an activity in itself. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Digital Imitation of Life

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Digital-Dependence-Parenting-for-Peace

HOW FACEBOOK IS LIKE A BOX OF DONUTS

When is an apple not really an apple? And what does this silly question have to do with exploring our collective digital dependence? An apple is not really an apple when the 3-dimensional, more or less round-ish, faintly applish-scented, red or green piece of fruit is replaced by something standing in for it—an abstract symbol of some kind. The most common form of abstraction or symbol occurs in written and spoken language: the word “apple” is a symbolic representation of the real thing. (more…)

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Dataclysm in the Time of Alone Togetherness

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

AUTHORS ON OUR DIGITAL DEPENDENCE

 

I had so many ah-hah moments reading through Narain Jashanmal’s annotated list of “The Best Books on the Impact of Technology on Society” – not even any of the books (yet), but merely his descriptions of them – that I thought I’d pass it directly on to you.

Wired-Wednesdays-Digital-Dependence

The fact that there are 19 books spotlighted here also humbles me that this territory is so unfathomably vast for a single mere mortal – you or me – to be able to easily navigate and understand. (more…)