National Day of Unplugging

The morning of March 3rd until the morning of March 4th, 2017 is National Day of Unplugging. This day is designed to help people of all ages to embrace the ancient ritual of a day of rest and we are so excited that Screenagers is a co-sponsor! 

The goal of this important 24 hours is to open our eyes to how tech is so immersed in our lives. For some of us our device is like a third hand.  Starting with just this one day, we encourage you to step back get a new perspective on your tech time, by not having tech time. 

Recently, a mom emailed me after she and her daughter watched Screenagers. She wrote "My 17-year-old daughter says she was interested in how technology causes one's brain to behave in ways that we can't control.” Getting more kids to ponder these question is key. Do this day with your whole family—invite grandparents, aunts and uncles, whole classrooms, entire schools and your religious organization to join. 

I had my daughter Tessa write a bit of this TTT and this is what she wrote: 

"Who knows who you might meet if you look up during a train ride or the conversation you might have in the car with your kids while you drive them around. Read the book on your bedside table that you have been meaning to finish, try to fall asleep early and catch up on sleep. Look in a cookbook that you used to love and get inspired to cook a meal".

To sign up to be a part of the National Day of Unplugging go to >>http://nationaldayofunplugging.com/

13 NON-tech holiday gift ideas

13 NON-tech holiday gift ideas

Today I heard from a parent that their 11-year old boy just saw Screenagers for the second time and then he took the XBOX off of his Christmas list. Sometimes kids resist the message in Screenagers, but we often hear about teens that connected and were truly moved. Here are some NON-tech gift ideas for your teens this holiday season—be sure to pass this on to grandparents to get them on the same page:

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    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just changed its recommendation of screen use for children. They now recommend that children younger than 18 months “avoid digital media use (except video-chatting),” but kids 18 months and older can use digital media. They also say that children 2 to 5 years should limit their time to one hour a day and for youth 5 years and older they now don't really have a recommended cap on screen time. 

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    Pokemon GO is sweeping the nation. Kids (and adults) are running around trying to spot imaginary characters floating in the real world. It’s getting kids outside and moving but they are still looking down at their screens. This is a highly seductive game that has found a way to tap into the reward centers of teen’s brains. Some things to know about teen’s brains...

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    As we enter into the final weeks of the school year, we are all extra busy trying to fit it so much in. Summer break is right around the corner, and many of us are looking forward to having a little more free time. But what activities will fill that time? Screen-based activities will be more enticing than ever. Are you ready? Frankly, I know it will be a challenge in my home. I have been thinking of things I plan to do and have a few ideas...

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    As a doctor, I believe that while there is a true clinical internet/video game addiction, we must be careful about using the term addiction loosely regarding broad use of technology. For serious cases, Internet addiction is a real problem. But for the kid who just won’t put her phone down during dinner? Calling her an addict may do more harm than good.

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    While I was making Screenagers, I became fascinated by the rapidly growing trend of schools deciding to give every single student on campus a digital device. When I learned that the Los Angeles Unified School District was launching one of these “one-to-one technology” programs and issuing an iPad to every student, I flew down to see for myself how it was going.

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    Do you want to take a survey to see if you or your child has an internet addition? In Screenagers we follow a college kid named Andrew who drops out of college because he is addicted to playing video games. His addiction to video games takes over and he games until the middle of the night and stops doing his school work. His mom takes this survey below and realizes that Andrew is  addicted to video games. Andrew's family ends up putting him in an internet rehab center to recover. Click here to take the test.

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    Research on teen media points to a clear divide between boys and girls. Girls like to relate and boys like to shoot guns, crash cars and blow things up. In the digital world, this means girls spend more time on social media and boys spend more time on video games. A recent report from Pew Research, 91 percent of boys have a video game console. A recent New York TImes article references surveys that found

     

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    Teens spend of on average 6.5 hours a day on screens of all sizes, according to a recent survey by the Kaiser Foundation. Kids spend an average of 9 hours a day on media--so this includes listening to music, which is not included in the screen time figure (Common Sense Media recent survey). To reduce screen time, the screen time hours need to be replaced with other activities. Afterschool programs are one solution to helping kids find interests outside of social media, online content and video games.

     

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    Are you a good Digital Citizen? Are your kids? How can you tell? Digital citizenship refers to the norms of appropriate behavior regarding technology use. The terms has been used primarily in school settings where classes and workshops address issues such as email etiquette, avoiding online cruelty, device use during class, avoiding copyright infringement and other such topics.

     

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