The Screenagers Blog

The home of "Tech Talk Tuesdays"

Screenagers Blog Tech Talk Tuesdays

“Having calm, consistent conversations has greatly improved screen balance in my home and I have written hundreds of articles to help others through my weekly Tech Talk Tuesdays newsletter and blog.”— Delaney Ruston, MD Physician/Filmmaker"

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tech talk tuesdays
May 10, 2022
Mental Health

In a World of Happy Posts — Why Expressing True Emotions is So Important

In the spirit of Mental Health Month, it is paramount that all kids know that mental health issues affect us all. Our emotional lives are so complicated. The pressure youth feel to exude certain feelings can be intense. A significant portion of my book Parenting in the Screen Age is devoted to mental health issues and today I want to share one small section of the book.

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tech talk tuesdays
May 3, 2022
Mental Health

I Made Sure My Kids Knew These 3 Things About The Brain

Today I share three important brain health messages to get to our kids. Also, to share language you can use with them ongoing — whether it’s about their own mental health, others in the family, or peers and beyond.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 26, 2022
Mental Health

Now Is Our Time to Tackle Teen Mental Health Crisis

If there was ever a time to get our communities together, our parents, teachers, coaches, grandparents, and particularly our youth — to talk about ways we can help our young people with their mental health, it is now. There is no denying the measurable fact that since 2011, the rates of mental health problems — depression, suicide, and others, along with loneliness — have been going up.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 19, 2022
Mental Health

High Achieving Kids and Clinical Anxiety

So often, we talk about “pushy parents” — those putting too much pressure on their kids to straight As, take all AP classes, etc. The fact is there is an incredibly high percentage of kids who are primarily putting this pressure on themselves. All kids and teens experience anxiety at times. It is our bodies’ reaction to fear and stress — it is a part of being human.And then there is anxiety that has gone astray — clinical anxiety. This kind of anxiety is often missed or ignored in youth who are extremely preoccupied with their academic performance — an obsession with getting straight As and the like.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 12, 2022
Mental Health

Regret, Lessons For Our Kids

Regret is a topic I have long felt is under-discussed. The feeling of regret is very uncomfortable. Many people I talk to who have regrets only have a mild form. They may have things they would have done differently, but the thoughts in their head don’t come up several times a day. I, however, join hands in solidarity with us less fortunate folks who have brains that experience more repetitive bouts of regret. It is one of the strongest forms of anxiety I contend with. Today I write about ways to help our kids through regret.

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tech talk tuesdays
April 5, 2022
Video Games

Video Gaming, What Works For Some And Not Others

Today I’m sharing two polar opposites stories of people’s choices around video gaming — extremes can be great conversation starters. One is from a kid who decided, on his own, to stop all video gaming essentially, and the other is about teens attending a high school that is 100% focused on video gaming and the video gaming industry.

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tech talk tuesdays
March 29, 2022
Screen Time Rules

How has Covid Impacted Youth Screen Time? Part 1

Everyone is trying to grasp where we currently are with screen time and kids and where we will be when the COVID crisis is more fully behind us. Today I highlight some of the key findings in a new report and what we can glean from the data to help in conversations with young people.

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tech talk tuesdays
March 22, 2022
Challenging Conversations

Helping Kids Combat Social Unease

I have developed a technique I call “Check My Landing,” where I follow up on a conversation with someone when I wonder if my words got misinterpreted. Learn about how to help our youth use this to improve communication.

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tech talk tuesdays
March 15, 2022
Creativity

Must-Know Brain Science of Boredom

When I give workshops to students, they get wide-eyed when I tell them, “Our brains are designed for challenge,” and then go on to explain how this relates to boredom, video games, and social media. Boredom is not a mild ho-hum type feeling — it is a very unpleasant sensation, particularly if you are a young person. It’s the brain’s way of saying that it wants something to ponder.

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tech talk tuesdays
March 8, 2022
Social Media

Helping Youth Navigate War Videos On TikTok

In today’s blog, I write about things we can do right now to help our kids and teens navigate the deluge of war content on social media. There are many fake TikTok videos about the war in Ukraine. Investigators found that some of these videos use sound taken from video games.

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tech talk tuesdays
March 1, 2022
Mental Health

Unpacking Anxiety Around School

Today I am focusing on anxiety driving school refusal and tips on how to help. School refusal includes going to school late, missing individual classes, and missing entire school days.

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tech talk tuesdays
February 15, 2022
Challenging Conversations

Can We Control Who Is Attracted To Us?

Our youth have complex social worlds, online and off, particularly now in the ongoing age of COVID, and they are vulnerable to the fact that they can’t control who is attracted to them, nor who they are attracted to. In today’s Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I’m writing about how to help our kids with the universal human challenge of knowing when to accept what we can’t change in our social lives versus what we can try and change.

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tech talk tuesdays
February 8, 2022
Challenging Conversations

Resources that have helped my marriage

In today’s Screenagers’ Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I am sharing some tools that have helped my marriage over the years. I’ve purposely timed this post to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Taking the time to work on one’s long-term relationship — to get help, to be vulnerable, and to compromise — is an act of love.

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tech talk tuesdays
February 1, 2022
Screen Time Rules

Inside One Family's Phone Rules Conversation

Recently two friends of mine — a married couple — told me that they were just about to get their 13-year-old son his first smartphone. They explained that they told him that they would get him one once he reached 8th grade and did well academically during the first part of the school year. They explained to their son, I’ll call him Charlie, that they needed to set up expectations and ground rules around the phone, and they wanted him to write down the reasons he wanted a phone and why he felt he needed a phone. Also, they asked him to write some possible rules and ideas about good digital citizenship. They recorded the conversation and today I share some of it with you.

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tech talk tuesdays
January 25, 2022
Video Games

What's New And Noteworthy In The World Of Video Games

Today I offer some intriguing stories related to video gaming, and I am confident you will want to discuss with others — even beyond just kids because data reveals that more and more people over 50 do some sort of video gaming. Do you know what Cozy games are?

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tech talk tuesdays
January 18, 2022
Time Reduction Tools

How To Resist The Vortex Of Click Bait

We are focusing on adults today. Teens have told me they get frustrated that so much focus is directed at them around being hooked to screens. They know issues around persuasive tech affect all of us. Our kid’s frustration often manifests as defensiveness and shuts down production discussions. So, to show them that this is truly affecting all of us, I am passing on examples adults have recently shared with me about the tech temptations they struggle with and ways they try to resist. The hope, as always, is you will share these with your kids and teens.

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tech talk tuesdays
January 11, 2022
Time Reduction Tools

Robbers Entered And Stole My Teen's Phone, And Better Ways To Manage Phone Time

I heard the floorboards creak and thought it was my husband and daughter getting ready to go to the mountains for the day. I heard the front door shut loudly and figured they had left. I fell back asleep. Sometime later, I heard the floor creaking again. I yelled out, “Peter, Peter, are you still here?!” He replied, “Yeah, we haven’t left yet.” Read my blog to find out what happened, AND tips for better ways to manage cellphone time

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tech talk tuesdays
January 4, 2022
Time Reductions Skills

Time To Clean The Screen

For the next four weeks, I will be offering four ideas that can help tackle screen time in the New Year. This week’s approach is around the idea of “ time to clean the screen.” This should involve everyone in the home and pertains particularly to phones and laptops, but other devices like Chromebooks and iPads are perfect for this as well.

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tech talk tuesdays
December 28, 2021
Mental Health

2021’s Most Popular Blogs Posts and Podcast Episodes

This is my 304th blog since I began writing my Tech Talk Tuesday in 2016. Of the 51 posts in 2021, today, I share the 14 most popular of the year. I also share the 5 most popular episodes of the Screenagers Podcast.

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tech talk tuesdays
December 21, 2021
Video Games

One Girl's Experience With Online Gaming And Strangers

Today I talk with an 11-year-old girl about what she likes about the popular gaming platforms Roblox and Minecraft, as well as some of the uncomfortable experiences she's encountered with strangers while playing video games … and what she's done in such situations.

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tech talk tuesdays
December 14, 2021
Video Games

When Two Parents Got Rid Of Their Xbox

Two parents decided to reverse course two years ago and let their two teen boys know that their Xbox was getting put away, indefinitely. Why did they do this, and how did it go...

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tech talk tuesdays
December 7, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Modeling Our Responses To Tragedies And Injustices

Today I give ideas to spark conversations about how we, as influential adults in kids' lives, have responded to injustices and tragedies throughout our lives (tiny and big) to strengthen young people’s mindsets that there are always things that can be done. Specifically, I focus on advocacy, volunteering, and donating.

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tech talk tuesdays
November 30, 2021
Creativity

2021's Mostly Non-tech Gift Guide

While compiling the list of non-tech gifts for this holiday season, I so enjoyed the distraction from the complexities and uncertainties of COVID. This is my 6th annual Screenagers' gift list and brings 25 unique, creative present ideas for all ages.

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tech talk tuesdays
November 23, 2021
Time Reduction Tools

Options To Communicate With Your Kids Without A Smartphone

With the holidays coming, you might be thinking about buying your kid a phone. In today's blog, I include some reviews of non-smartphones and some experiences and recommendations from other parents.

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