Family: Go 24 Hours Without Technology
I remember during Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, we were left a few days without electricity. We looked at each other and said jokingly: “What now? Are we suppose to talk?” If you are looking for a way to test your children’s creative thinking you can have one technology free day.
The second Friday in March is the Nation Day of Unplugging and you don’t need to wait until the next year to have one full day with family, completely technology free. With that one day, you can reconnect with yourself, our loved ones and with the world around us. One day without TV, phones, tablets, computers and gaming systems. Let’s keep in mind that your children will probably not be super excited to be punished and be without their phones and tablets. However, it’s important to organize that day so you have a full day of activities and some time to reconnect and talk to each other.
Instead of spending time on your phones, you can play board games, bake brownies as a family and go for a hike. This is true family time, which can be used as a time to be creative and talk about difficult topics. A time for conversation.
Social Media: Tips for Parents
There are a lot of things to worry about on the internet when it comes to parenting, from sexting, selfies, cyberbullying and porn.
In the past few weeks, parents have posted on social media to warn others about the videos featuring “Momo,” which is a scary creature urging children to harm others and themselves. The video leads us to actual evidence of children hurting themselves and even committing suicide.
Children have easy access to content that their parent might not approve. They spend a lot of time online, playing video games or scrolling down on their phones through social media accounts. The lack of security is among the biggest concerns for parents around the world. Many parents are also worried about what their children post online.
Chris Gregory, development director for First Things First, the US advocacy non-profit group.
“Your kids are going to get technology, you can’t just stop them from having it. They need it for school, will encounter it at a friend’s house. So how do you create a relationship with your kid so that when they see something that’s not OK, they come to you first?”
First Things First organization provides workshops for parents on how to deal with the use of technology in the household. Having all the passwords and passcodes for all devices’ children use is the first step. However, 60% of teens surveyed said that their parents have never checked their phones and 28% said that their parents are not following them on social media. Furthermore, many parents don’t even know what apps their kids are using. Parents were pretty much aware of Instagram, but they were not aware of Snapchat.
Can Technology Cause Anxiety?
Everyone has their own personal view and experience on whether technology can cause anxiety and depression. To be able to fully understand this we need to know what anxiety actually is.
The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as,
“an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”
We all have some anxiety sometimes, but the disorder can cripple someone’s day to day life. It is estimated that around 40 million Americans are suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder which is by far the most common mental disorder in the country.
“Fight or flight” mode has helped our ancestors to stay alive and to be on alert for everyday threats they encountered. Today the “fight or flight” response can be triggered by money, health, family life, work, and other factors. Technology has its contribution to developing anxiety and affecting our overall health. One can get the feeling anxiety when not able to connect to Wi-Fi especially if aware that this will be the case for a longer period of time. Or the feeling of forgetting your phone. All those situations cause anxiety. However, social media is the big reason why people develop anxiety over not being good enough. Although social media has some benefits, it seems that it does more harm than good. Many people who check Facebook daily will notice the difference in their behavior and mood.