Free Tips For Parenting The Smartphone Generation:
Understanding the 11 Dangers of Technology
Technology has made learning easier than ever before. But, it also has spurred concerns: Behavioral problems. Online predators. Adult content. The list doesn’t end there, so what can parents and leaders do to ensure the safety of our kids?
Find out 11 major dangers of technology and internet use—and discover practical tips on how to protect your child from these risks, which includes:
- Relevant statistics on parents and technology use of their children
- 11 dangers of technology (and how to address them), including exposure to adult material, physical effects, and the 6 social-emotional effects of technology.
- Practical solutions—how to set up parental filters, keeping technology out of bedrooms during sleep hours, etc.
This excerpt is just a few pages out of Dr. Jantz’s Ten Tips For Parenting The Smartphone Generation Book, which covers the 10 practical steps you can take to protect your child or preteen and get the most out of technology.
Understanding the 11 Dangers of Technology to Kids
The first category of danger involving technology deals with content. The second category of danger deals with use. In both cases, the degree of the danger involved may differ from slight to very serious. And the consequences can vary also.
The first category of danger involving technology is associated with the content. For example, there are negatives associated with accessing violent or sexually explicit material. In this case, the content creates negative consequences.
Content on the Internet can be generated by products and websites. Content can also be generated by individual people. Sadly, no amount of filtering can keep one person from harassing or bullying another. The content of a text or a post can be just as damaging as an inappropriate website. In some cases, the content is more damaging because it is personally directed.
Control what you can, but realize you can’t control everything. Instead, build a strong foundation with your children so that when something negative happens, they can come to you.
The second category of danger involving technology is associated with use. I suppose it’s not a coincidence that people talk about using drugs and using technology. Both are powerful stimulants that affect the mind and body. And there can be unpleasant consequences to the use of both as well.
2. WEIGHT GAIN AND MUSCLE WEAKNESS
Sitting still and lack of activity can lead to obesity and muscle weakness. And let’s not forget about the snacking that often also goes hand-in-hand with gaming!
3. INSUFFICIENT SLEEP
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average teenager needs eight to ten hours of sleep per night. According to a study by the Australian Broadcasting Association, “Use of computers, cell phones and televisions at higher doses was associated with delayed sleep/wake schedules and wake lag, potentially impairing health and educational outcomes.” The study also found that the majority of teens—over 70 percent—have at least two electronic devices in their bedrooms at night.
4. TEXT NECK AND TEXT THUMB
“We did a study on the issue of poor posture and how it affects you, especially when you’re on a cell phone or smart device… It’s a lot of load, an amazing amount of weight to be carrying around your neck.” So says Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD. Tech neck is a repetitive stress injury due to how we physically hunker over our phones. Not to be outdone, there is now also text thumb.
According to an article on ergonomics, text thumb is “a repetitive stress injury that affects the thumb and wrist. Pain and sometimes a popping sound are present on the outside of the thumb at or near the wrist. There can also be a decrease in grip strength or range of motion.”
5. EYE AND EAR STRAIN
I spend a great deal of time looking at screens and by the end of the day, my eyes sometimes ache. Technology can have the same effect on children, especially after long periods of screen time. In addition, earbuds cranked up for maximum effect can, over time, cause maximum damage to fragile eardrums.
6. CONTINUOUS PARTIAL ATTENTION
The concept of continuous partial attention was articulated by Linda Stone: “To pay continuous partial attention is to pay partial attention—continuously.” Stone goes on to explain, “It is an always-on, anywhere, anytime, any place behavior that involves an artificial sense of constant crisis.” When kids continuously devote partial attention to their tech, they are, by definition, devoting partial attention to everything else.
7. ACQUIRED ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER (ADD)
This tech-driven state of partial attention/ partial distraction may create distractibility as compelling as ADD. This is the theory of Dr. John Ratey: “Several years ago, Dr. John Ratey, a clinical associate profession of psychiatry at Harvard [and author of Delivered from Distractions], began using the term ‘acquired attention deficit disorder’ to describe the condition of people who are accustomed to a constant stream of digital stimulation and feel bored in the absence of it.
8. DISCONNECT ANXIETY
Disconnect anxiety is a phrase that started popping up several years ago to explain the effects of suddenly becoming offline, with the effects ranging from mild to severe, depending upon how heavy the user.
A recent study by the American Psychological Association concluded that “the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field…” This doesn’t mean that if your children play games that contain violence, they will grow up to be violent criminals. It does mean that playing violent games can desensitize people to violence and encourage more aggressive behavior in real life as well as while playing games.
10. VIRTUAL REALITY
I have a concern about how kids are learning to interpret the world based on their interactions with technology. With so many bits of information to look at and consider, I can be like someone at an all-you-can-eat buffet, grazing bits from appetizer to entrée to dessert without ever really stopping to eat a full meal. Nicholas Carr, in his book, The Shallows, highlights his concern that the quick and easily accessible flood of information is enticing us into the digital “shallows,” and we’re losing our capacity to concentrate and dive deep into issues and concepts.
None of these perceptions represent the way the real world works.
11. FALSE INTIMACY
There is an aspect of anonymity to the Internet that doesn’t make sense. On one hand, the Internet is the most public forum available. Whatever you put out there never goes away. Instead, it lingers forever, somewhere on
some distant server. Yet people treat the Internet, especially social media, as if it’s their own private platform. They will converse with people they would never say a word to in real life. They will divulge personal details
to total strangers. The normal cautions that would kick in with face-to-face communication don’t seem to apply.
Facebook, especially, has redefined the term friend into anyone who has access to your information. Because the number of such friends has become a badge of honor, children can, sadly, allow access to people who wish to cause them harm.
Ten Tips For Parenting The Smartphone Generation
|Children spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day on digital media (which is almost 3 times the recommended amount)! How does this affect them? What do you need to know about parenting this digital-savvy generation?
With Dr. Gregory Jantz’s Ten Tips For Parenting The Smartphone Generation, find out how to encourage positive usages of technology— while avoiding the negative risks and consequences. One of the biggest challenges for parents is balancing the advantages of cutting-edge technology with the dangers of unlimited exposure to content. From practical tips on setting good boundaries for your child technology use to understanding the affects of technology, Dr. Gregory Jantz packs Bible-based ideas and solid research into this 112-page guide to help you protect your children as they use technology.
In this easy-to-understand guide, you will get a quick overview and practical tips on how to:—
- Regulate your child’s screen time and increase quality family time by setting a good example. (Includes an exercise that will help you identify how much time your kids are spending with technology)
- Promote positive ways of using technology (Includes helpful tips!) .
- Realize how technology affects children’s development.
- Protect your children from bad habits, cyber-bullies, and online predators by setting boundaries and parental controls (and more!)
Please Note: This book is written to parents, but is also useful for pastors, church leaders, and grandparents, who can find out key information on how to protect kids, encourage parents, and also how to minister to the next generation.
Five Keys To Raising Boys
“Boys will be boys…” From how they learn to how they interact with others, neuroscience shows that boys are wired very differently than girls. How should this affect how you parent them? 5 Keys to Raising Boys covers the basics every parent of a boy needs to know!
Whether they’re bouncing off the walls or completely zoned out on a video game, enjoy having practical tools, biblical advice, and decades of time-tested research on raising boys at your fingertips. With real-life stories, advice, and “talking-points,” you will be equipped with dozens of relevant ways to point your son in the right direction as you nurture his spiritual, emotional, and intellectual development. Get solid answers to key questions, including: How can I help my son do well in school? Deal with peer pressure? Use technology responsibly? Develop a healthy spiritual walk? and more!
Find out how to help your son (or grandson) in each of these areas:
- Basic overview on boy’s development, strengths, and needs: Discover why boys talk, behave, learn, and develop differently than girls and how to embrace the differences
- Spiritual: Tips on how to build godly character (uses Bible stories, media, sports, and more!)
- Emotional: How to help your son express his emotions in a healthy way
- Intellectual: Motivate and guide your son to be his best in school and extracurriculars.
- Physical: Answers tough questions about how to give “the talk,” why puberty should be addressed, and when (includes age-appropriate responses for every age group)
Perfect for parents, grandparents, pastors, church leaders, counselors, or to hand to a friend!
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