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In 2016 FB (and Instagram) asked me to come to their headquarters and show Screenagers to their adolescent division. I spoke about negative emotions that were happening to young people related to social media and my concerns about excessive use and addiction. Around that same time, Facebook was talking about developing a Facebook-type product for youth younger than 13. Fortunately, there was pushback from the public, and this never came to fruition. Our voices matter. We want to support our kids having a voice in this discussion. This week's Tech Talk Tuesday, gives you ideas about talking with your kids about the leaked papers that revealed that Facebook has been internally talking about how youth can have very negative emotions on social media but find it hard to pull away.
“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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So much is happening this week with Facebook/Instagram. The Facebook/Instagram whistleblower is testifying at this moment before the Senate. Yesterday Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, and WhatsApp all went down for hours for the first time ever. In a 60 Minutes interview from Sunday, the whistleblower, Frances Haugen, talks about why she decided to go public with internal company documents. This is an incredible learning moment for our kids and there are great timely, relevant ways to engage them in all these topics (that affect them!) which I discuss in this week’s TTTREAD MORE >
Let’s mobilize and ramp up our concerted efforts to put limits on tech’s reach into our homes. I have always said, “Our tech revolution warrants a parenting revolution.” Part of the revolution requires that we step out of our comfort zone to speak up.READ MORE >
Many schools around the country are doing a 180-degree shift regarding suicide prevention education — and this is good! It was practically unheard of just five years ago. That said, it is not yet everywhere, and that is why reading this blog and talking with your children is so important.READ MORE >
China has just launched new video gaming restrictions for kids under 18: Kids cannot play video games (on computers or phones) during the week, limiting their video gaming from 8 pm to 9 pm, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and on public holidays, totaling no more than 3 hours per week. Are the rules enforced?READ MORE >
The science is clear: Having phones used less during the school day increases connections and decreases distractions. Students do better socially and emotionally, as shown by research. Now more than ever, it’s time to look at our Away For The Day Campaign, which is full of tools to help bring change to your elementary, middle, or high school.READ MORE >
I have been thinking a lot about going back to school, and recently, I listened to the behavioral scientist BJ Fogg uses the term “skill them up” when talking about how to help someone activate and reach a goal in their life. Today I share three key skills that can benefit our kids and students greatly.READ MORE >
Parenting is inherently anxiety-provoking. But feeling anxious at times is different than letting anxiety control the way we parent. Today I share some true stories that demonstrate this and offer ideas on how we can prevent anxiety from taking hold of our own wheels.READ MORE >
Today’s TTT is about whether including the topic of porn in sex education should happen or not is a keen way of instigating dialogue with tweens and teens about porn. And remember, smartphones are unfortunately an easy portal into porn, so nudging ourselves to talk more frequently about porn is so important — these are not easy conversations to have.READ MORE >
Today I share how my husband and I got to a better place with our communication conflict and why we shared the details with our kids. Life is not about riding horses off into the sunset but rather riding elephants into plain view.READ MORE >
In today’s Tech Talk Tuesday, I explore how to open a conversation with your kids and teens about what to do with the steady stream of YouTube videos with influencers giving them so many mixed messages.READ MORE >
A few weeks ago a dear friend shared with me about her screen-free family Sundays with her 3 kids. When Jamie started Screen-Free Sundays, they planned to just try it out for a month so she wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the experiment. I also talk with a mom in Alaska who prioritized reading in her family in all sorts of ways — and keeping screens at bay when they read. Hear how the experiments have gone.READ MORE >
Recently, I spoke with someone who has decided to really cut down on their social media use and news feeds because they saw how it was impacting their mental state. I have written in the past and podcasted about how we help our kids recognize disinformation, but today I’m discussing managing the quantity of “bad news.”READ MORE >
Today I share strategies to help parents in conflict over screen time limits. I know, generally, it is important to have a united front for our kids about things like rules, but what about the benefits of bringing some conflict out into the open at times?READ MORE >
Given that we are halfway through 2021, I thought it was a good time to share the top read Tech Talk Tuesdays in 2021 thus far. Whether it is to catch up on any you’ve missed or reread something you found helpful before, this list of the top picks is a good way to go.READ MORE >
I love that during summer, there’s a relief from the complexities of school-based social stressors, and it can be a good time to bring up some of the more awkward conversations of parenting. So let's take this relative downtime of summer to bring up the topic of what makes for loving, kind intimate relationships. And yes, this may well get into sexuality. Today I give you tips on how to address this.READ MORE >
Last week I mentioned in the blog that youth often enjoy doing self-assessment questionnaires. Well, today it is about the fact that they — and, us, as well, appreciate a fun, competitive quiz. I have developed The Digital Age Quiz, tested it with youth, and it has been a hit. The key is to make it a competition. This quiz is great for everyone in your family, or group of any kind, even a summer camp group!READ MORE >
“Pre-commitment” is the term that comes to mind as I sit down to share some summer-fun ideas. In behavioral psychology, pre-commitment is all about doing an action, such as creating a contract with yourself before doing something, to increase the chance you actually do that something. Read on for some ideas to boost summer fun.READ MORE >
Screenagers: Next Chapter explores openly, the topic of mental health in youth today and meets many real-world young people and families, openly discussing their stories, challenges and identifying solutions applicable to all. Learn more about why now is the right time to screen this movie at your school.READ MORE >
From the wide range of feedback we have received over the years, we have learned more and more about the real-world benefits hosts and viewers have gained from our movies. Presented here, for those thinking about hosting a screening in their community is feedback on the most widely reported benefits we have seen.READ MORE >
Throughout Covid-19 hosts across the world continued to screen our movies to their communities via our online event offering. Perfect for when gathering in person isn't suitable, learn more about hosting a successful and engaging online Screenagers event here.READ MORE >
We made the Screenagers movies to be shown in group community settings such as schools, places of worship, workplaces and more. Let us share with you the steps to putting on your own successful Screenagers event, along with some of our most helpful tips!READ MORE >
As the world starts to open up more, and household members are newly pulled in different directions, I thought it was the perfect time to consider how families can create routines to feel connected. In today's TTT, I share with you a weekly break from tech that one family calls Tech Shabbat.READ MORE >
Many children are languishing when it comes to having in-person social activities. Yes, there is more in-person school, but many youth feel lonely, unseen, and unsure of things. This can be so tricky for us parents — especially when our kids are teens. The last thing we want to do is helicopter parenting, but there is a role for our social engineering at times.READ MORE >
It is the last week of Mental Health Awareness Month, and I wanted to recommend a fun game I invented to do with your family that has been given a big thumbs up by youth. It is called “Boggled by Emotions.” It takes two minutes, and sure way to get smiles in your home or classroom.READ MORE >