The Leading Cause of Death Among Teens…
…is texting while driving. It surpasses cancer. It even surpasses drinking and driving. We all know texting and driving is dangerous, even teens. Yet the truth is, almost all of us do it. And teens do it a lot. Nagging obviously doesn’t stop them. We’ve tried that. So what can we do? We have to address the larger issue of balancing technology in our lives – not just around driving a car, but throughout our day. One of the biggest ways we can help is by leading by example. Why not join your Teen in participating in a kNOw Tech-A-Thon? Or, become one of your Teen’s Sponsors.
The greatest shortage on the planet is…
…not a fossil fuel. It’s focus. Beyond concerns of physical safety, our Teens (and many of us!) have lost the ability to focus one any one thing or person without being distracted by the next phone call or text. This adversely affects our ability to be productive at school and work, will hinder our ability to achieve our goals and dreams, and is detrimental in our relationships with those around us.
You’re on an elevator…
…or a train, in a restaurant, or at your own dinner table (!), and a young person is talking on the phone so loudly that everyone is subjected to the conversation. (They’ve mistaken us for people who care.) Or maybe they’re only texting, but it’s clear they are not “present” with the human beings in the same room as them. Or their phone is away, but it’s obvious they’re just biding their time.
We all struggle with balancing the use of technology in our lives…
Are our young people, and society at large for that matter, “tech-ing to live” or “living to tech?” All of us, no matter our age, are faced with the issues of balance and boundaries with technology in our personal and professional lives. Everyone agrees that cell phones and the internet are wonderful tools for communication and information. But when technology is no longer a means to an end, but an end itself, it is detrimental on many levels. Technology at its best is designed to connect us with each other, and improve the quality of our work and leisure time. Yet it often is the thing that disconnects us, and makes us less productive and focused.
Tech: just the latest in a long line of reasons for parents to nag their teens…
Since the beginning of time, we parents have been harping on teenagers to be more respectful, considerate, focused. Nagging teens has never been very effective. This initiative brings out the best in teens in a positive way. They are encouraged and motivated to prove to themselves and us that they can show restraint, self-discipline, and thoughtfulness to help others.
A technology paradox…
There is a paradoxical aspect to kNOw Tech 4 Teens in that it is a program that uses technology to get young people to not use technology for a period of time so that they will continue to use technology, but in positive ways.
Parents can participate too…
While perhaps it’s true that young people are the biggest culprits of technology abuse, all of us our guilty of it to some degree. The reason to focus on young people and teens is that, as the saying goes, “so you begin, so you continue.” If we can help young people explore the importance of balance and boundaries around technology at a time in their life when they are increasing usage exponentially, it will foster good habits that will last a lifetime. But it’s not too late for any of us. Participation in kNOw Tech-4-Teens is open to all ages, so why not join your teen. What could send a stronger message than you modeling for your teen?
More in the news about Teens and Tech
How to Cut Children’s Screen Time? Say No to Yourself First. (NYTimes Well blog, 7/13/15)
Articles about Texting and Driving
Articles about Balancing Technology
Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children (NYTimes 7-6-15)
Steve Jobs was a Low-Tech Parent (NYTimes 9-11-14)
Children Are Losing Their Ability to Read Emotions – But There’s a Fix (Huffington Post 8-30-14)
Kids And Screen Time: What does the Research Say? (NPR 8-28-14)
Teens Without Screens (LATimes 8-21-14)
Articles about Stress & Technology
People separated from iPhones Suffer Psychological Effects (CBS St. Louis 1-12-15)
Frequent Cell Phone Use Linked to Anxiety, Lower Grades and Reduced Happiness in Students, Kent State Research Shows (Kent State University 12/6/13)
Turn Off Your Smart Phone to Beat Stress (British Psychological Society 12-1-2012)
Articles about Music Programs and Teens
A Musical Fix for American Schools: Research Shows that Music Boosts IQs, Focus and Persistence (Wall Street Journal 10-10-14)