Technology is now a part of our everyday lives and managing your technology use and your children’s use can be challenging. It’s true, we use technology for work, school, communication, and quick information. These days we also use technology for entertainment. What effect does this have on us?
Pros to Technology
Technology can help us stay connected with family and friends. Kids use technology to make plans and socialize. Completing homework and learning in general has changed to use technology as a tool. There are numerous educational games and websites to enrich your child’s ability.
Cons to Technology
In recent years, information about how screen time affects our brains has been shared. Screen time can disrupt our sleep making it harder to wind down at night. It can also hinder our ability to focus on things. Screen time wears out the brain’s pleasure centers. When we use technology, it releases dopamine, which makes us feel happy. However, overuse can result in less pleasure or happiness from non-technology related activities. Research continues to be conducted regarding the use of social media. Specifically, children and teen overuse of social media has been linked to anxiety and depression.
How to Manage
It is not feasible to eliminate all technology use, but there are things you can do to live a more balanced life. To improve sleep, power down technology after dinner. Participate in low-tech activities like reading or play a game together as a family. Avoid bringing your phone to bed to limit time on it in the morning and at night. Most devices include a screen time tracker that can share how much time was spent during the day on your phone or other devices. Start measuring your usage and set goals to decrease. Spend more time outside and set limits on your children’s screen time. Remember, you are a role model for your children, so it is important that you also decrease your screen time to set a good example. Remember, technology use is inevitable, but living a balanced life is important to overall health and mental well being.