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A Balanced Life: Technology VS Humanity


There have been thousands of studies on the impact of young people's use of technology, particularly social media, far too many to get into them here. Suffice to say that everyone is concerned about the negative, short and long term impact of increased use among children and youth. All the studies I have looked at have two important problems, when it comes to the studies' conclusions and recommendations: 1. the studies have mostly been based on 'self-report' measures and 2. the recommendations made tend to focus on parents (adults) establishing boundaries and rules for the young people in their lives. The validity of self-report measures has always been a big question and parents 'fighting' with their kids about the harmful effects of social media and trying to establish safe parameters and guidelines regarding which sites should be banned, often means daily conflict - often leading to various threats, by young and old. Parent's saying things like, I'll take that phone away for a month! Kid's often saying things like, It's my phone, you just want to ruin my life!

I agree with parental controls and supervising children's use of technology but I believe it is important to for families to address what has been lost in the family, as a result of social media use (by both kids and parents) - the simple but seriously problematic answer is - in-person time together. The in-person contact is how we bond with each other and develop close, trusting relationships and how we determine who we do not want to befriend. Families who have struggled to ensure that there is some face-to-face, in person time together every day, will find that the majority of young people actually want - dare I say 'crave' this time.



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