More and more my patients are becoming addicted to their devices. I am concerned that their communication and social skills may be stifled. We are who we are in a large part by what we do. Children and adults who spend hours on devices miss opportunities and to grow as individuals.
It is best to limit exposure to the internet and social media. There’s a false narrative of what’s real. Unfortunately it is not the curators of the net to assume that responsibility. As parents and as families it is our role to take over responsibility.
5 Tips for Parents
Keep devices out of kids’ bedrooms.
Set up online firewalls and data cutoffs.
Create a device contract.
Model healthy device behaviors.
Consider old-school flip phones for your kids.
Taken from: Is Your Kid Hooked on Smartphones? 5 Tips for Parents
Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
Jozef Israëls (Dutch Realist painter, Mother and Child by the Sea Jozef Israëls (Dutch Realist painter,
A parent’s own decision to share a child’s personal information online is a potential source of harm that has gone largely unaddressed. Children not only have interests in protecting negative information about themselves on their parent’s newsfeed, but also may not agree with a parent’s decision to share any personal information—negative or positive—about them in the online world. There is no “opt-out” link for children and split-second decisions made by their parents will result in indelible digital footprints. While adults have the ability to set their own parameters when sharing their personal information in the virtual world, children are not afforded such control over their digital footprint unless there are limits on parents.
Sharenting: Children’s Privacy in the Age of Social Media
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
So how do you reduce your anxiety and permit your brain to sleep effectively?
Here are some suggestions:
During the day, practice not reacting to incoming alerts or notifications like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Don’t check your phone every time it beeps. In fact, turn off notifications and check on a schedule to retrain your brain’s neurotransmitters (particularly cortisol). Start by checking every 15 minutes, and gradually increase that to 30 minutes or more. Tell your family, friends, and colleagues that you may not respond immediately, but you will within a specified amount of time, such as 30 minutes to an hour later.
Stop using all devices one hour prior to sleep.
Put all devices away in another room rather than keep them in the bedroom to discourage you from checking them during the night. (If you must keep a phone nearby in case of emergency, set it so that it only rings when certain people are calling, but still place it across the room and away from your bedside.)
An hour before bedtime, start dimming the room lights slowly to release melatonin.
During the last hour before bedtime, choose an activity that your brain will find predictable and, thus, not anxiety-provoking. Consider any of the following:
Watch a television show that you love, maybe even a repeat.
Read a paper book (or use a Kindle which doesn’t emit blue light) by a familiar author.
Listen to music that is very familiar like a playlist of your favorite songs. If you need a device to do this, burn CDs and get a CD player. (The key is to use a device that doesn’t have internet access, email, or a phone.) Keep the volume low.
If you awaken in the middle of the night, try this trick: have a song lyric in mind (not the whole song) that you plan to sing in your mind over and over to block the anxiety and allow you to fall back to sleep. Another option is to learn one of many meditation techniques and practice and use those skills to calm your mind.
Our devices are a gift that connect us to so many people and so much information, but they do not have to raise our anxiety and harm our all-important sleep. We need to control our devices, rather than letting them control us.
Relax, Turn Off Your Phone, and Go to Sleep
Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Mary
“We live not only in a world of thoughts, but also in a world of things. Words without experience are meaningless.”
“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
It’s hard to learn from experience when there is no experience.
It’s harder to generate silver linings for things you never did
Turn disappointment into gratitude.
Say “yes” to opportunity.