Posts Tagged ‘technology’

WIRED WEDNESDAYS: Exploring Our Digital Dependence

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

 

Digital-dependence LET’S BEGIN

If you harbor vague concerns about your (and your children’s) growing digital dependence, I’m right there with you.

If you fear that the issue of device devotion is so complicated you can’t get a firm grasp on it, I’m with you.

If it all seems just too… inevitable and insurmountable, yep, I’m there as well.

But like a squirrel on a mission, I’ve been stashing away lot of good stuff on digital dependence and now I think it’s time to just dive in — into the foggy, messy fray, without any real plan, outline or idea of how this blog series will look. So here goes.

The only plan-ish part is that I’m committing to post something every Wednesday on some aspect of this topic. I’ll look at different angles on the role(s) that our devices play in our lives, how they help, and how they may be hurting.

And probably much more important, how we can develop mastery over our technology so it can do what it was designed to do: to make our lives easier and richer!

The Rub

Here’s the conundrum, particularly for the Parenting for Peace objective of fostering vibrant social intelligence in ourselves and our coming generations: While technology has careened forward and changed our world dramatically, even in just the past twenty years, human beings haven’t much changed — in how we’re built or how we function — in thousands of years!

We’re essentially running hypermodern software programs on hardware that wasn’t built for it.

My intention with this weekly series is to take my head out of the proverbial sand around the digital dependence issue, and thoughtfully consider, sliver by sliver, what Social Intelligence author Daniel Goleman calls “inexorable technocreep.”

A Vast Territory to Be Covered

I have a file folder of clippings going all the way back to 2011, when I had just turned the Parenting for Peace manuscript in to my publisher and it was too late to add it. My folder bulges with flashes of insights into how our digital dependence is redefining our attention spans and our love lives, how it impacts our driving ability and our school performance, and ways in which it is changing the architecture of our brains – like  this chilling explanation of how fMRIs show we quite literally love our smartphones.

Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and make no mistake: I’m not one of those stuffy oldsters pining away for a nostalgic, over-romanticized past. But I am a fan of self-determination and empowerment. I believe in holding the reins on whatever brain changes you decide (YOU decide!) to consciously make.

Solutions for Our Digital Dependence

The most important thing I want to accomplish with this Wired Wednesdays exploration is to help you do just that: take up the reins of mastery on this powerful technology so it will work for you, not on you.

I have discovered some wonderful tools and resources for putting yourself into the driver’s seat on this issue of digital dependence – for you and your children. So instead of feeling like you’re in a runaway vehicle, careening way off the path of where you envisioned being, you can use that power to take you exactly where you want to be.

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

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How Boredom Builds Brains… and Screens Can Drain Brains!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

(Part 3 of my 5-part series at DrGreene.com) I’m not talking about the deep, serious kind of boredom associated with neglect, poverty and anguish. I’m talking about that “I’m not being distracted / entertained / stimulated at this very instant and I don’t know what to do with myself” kind that I fear is becoming more and more common.

I’ll let you in on a little behind-the-scenes shock I had while searching for a photo to illustrate this article. I searched the term “child relaxing” and I kept finding these gorgeous pastoral scenes of a child in the middle of a lovely meadow… using a laptop!! Or a child kicking back in a hammock… using an iPad! 

And why would that distress me? Read on…

DrGreeneTitle3

 

The Debate Over Handheld Devices for Babies & Children

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

BabyOnIPadThere has been a hurricane of cyber-buzz this past week over a HuffPo piece entitled, “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.” It went viral, natch.

What I want to say about that piece is
a) it is a comprehensive collection of research that should be of critical interest to parents
b) I am not the type to seek bans on such things; rather, I advocate that we as humans develop mastery and dominion over these creations of ours. Let our Frankenstein’s monsters work for us rather than against us.

As my daughter Eve once said, “We’ve all been baptized in technology.” Boy, did that spin me around and send me thinking. I wrote the following Parenting for Peace passage in reference to birth technology, but it totally applies to these questions about handheld devices:

Yes, most of us have been baptized in technology, so let us embrace the blessings of our modern brilliance, which was originally meant to bring freedom. Nothing has the power to control us once we can name the players and the game, once we can free ourselves from the prevailing fear-based group think and become capable of making choices that are in the best peacemaking interests of ourselves, our children, and the vibrant future of humanity. 

{Read more about this debate at mothering.com} 

Image:
sonyanews, through its Creative Commons license

Empowered Birth: What Is YOUR Story?

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

My first birth didn’t feel very empowered. My OB seemed distinctly uninterested in having an empowered birthing patient. I felt meek and under his power. I evolved, my power grew, I switched OBs, and by Baby #2, I had what felt like a very empowered birth. Details in a moment.

When a baby is born, a mother is born. Even if she already has children, each birth experience unfolds new facets of a woman’s being, having to do with feeling powerful, capable, supported — or helpless, incompetent, insignificant. These primal feelings will weave their way through her ongoing life and her relationships — with her children, her partner, herself. Indeed, a mother’s experience of giving birth — whether it’s an empowered birth or not — leaves its indelible imprint, a faint yet distinct watermark on her soul. {Read the rest at mothering.com}

How to Trust in a Wired World

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

How to Trust in a Wired World | Marcy Axness PhDAlong with a good supply of onesies, I routinely counsel expectant parents to stock up on trust. Parenting is a daunting safari into the unknown, and trust is the anxiety antidote when life outruns the reach of our techno-savvy that has us convinced we can figure out and control everything in our lives.

I define trust as “calm reliance upon processes outside of your immediate perception and control,” and 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. (more…)

Give the Gift of Wonder and Brainpower

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Have you seen the commercial where the mom is reading Curious George (off a screen, natch) to her curious young daughter? Then the curious little girl interrupts to ask the screen (Google’s version of Siri) “How many miles from the earth to the moon?” — and of course the screen delivers the dry mileage fact in a voice similarly soulless to Siri’s. Again I feel the need to shout from the rooftops that we thwart rather than foster our young child’s intelligence when we overlook the connection between wonder and brainpower. (more…)

Supermom Has Too Many Choices!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

From Supermom to Sane, Centered MomI’m picking up the thread from my last post, about how too much information and too many choices contribute to Supermom feeling overwhelmed rather than sane and centered. In an era when the world generates more information in 48 hours than it did through all of human history up until 2003 (!!), I’d like us to consider the possibility that our sophisticated technology and information-gathering prowess might have had a direct evolutionary purpose — and I’m not referring to us evolving into 24/7 extensions of our iTwitterFaceLinkInPod cyber-screens. (In fact, that is a direct contributor to our stress…but that’s another post. Keep an eye out for that, coming soon!)

Putting This SuperPickle Into Perspective
It’s no wonder we haven’t yet gotten this parenting thing right as a human race. (more…)

On Birth & Parenting, ARE We Independent…Yet?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Moms and Dads, Who Is The Boss of You?
The Force of Culture on Birth & Parenting Choices:

As we celebrate our nation’s independence from oppressive rule, I want to explore an all-encompassing issue: the status-quo of today’s culture — media, medicine, education — exerts tremendous pressure on well-meaning parents to make choices that simply aren’t good for kids. This is where some knowledge can be a very empowering thing! The more we know about where our decision-making “blind spots” are, the more we can free ourselves from the prevailing fear-based group-think, and become capable of making positive choices that are in the true best interests of ourselves and our children.

Let’s begin where it begins — how we ourselves are born, how we birth our children, and how we perceive the choices involved. {Read this entire post at mothering.com}