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
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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tech talk tuesdays
November 16, 2021
Creativity

5 Ways To Make Dinnertime More Fun

There is a long-standing belief that dinner needs to be about checking in with everyone about their day mainly, and then, from there, people can bring up other topics. There is also a myth that this should be satisfying enough for everyone at the table.The truth is some kids and teens get a bit frustrated or bored by dinnertime. Today I propose ways to add some spice to your regular dinner routine by sharing some fun dinner activities.

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tech talk tuesdays
November 9, 2021
Social Media

What Is Facebook & Instagram Not Telling Us About “Likes”?

Today I’m writing about what the Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the Facebook Files tells us about what Facebook and Instagram know about “Likes” and what they are not telling us, and solutions on how we can help our youth with “Likes.”

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November 2, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Books and Podcasts List To Help With Parenting

Time for some book and podcast recommendations — Thanksgiving and winter breaks are coming up, and you might have more time to read. I am sharing some suggestions of books and podcasts I have liked — a few of which are just for parents and others are for tweens and teens.

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tech talk tuesdays
October 26, 2021
Video Games

Discord, Twitch, And Mental health, What To Know

Today I explore what Discord and Twitch are, some of the risks of the platforms, some ways to mitigate risks, and some ideas for helping your youth make healthy, good decisions when using these.

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tech talk tuesdays
October 19, 2021
Social Media

Why Are Your Kids Required To Be On Social Media

“I am a parent of two teenage daughters (16 and 14), both in high school. I am frustrated with how the schools encourage social media usage by using it for communication. The softball team communicates through Twitter. Clubs communicate through Instagram. The band uses Snapchat. How do we best encourage (request/demand) the schools to use non-social media platforms for activities, sports, and clubs?... Any advice?”

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October 12, 2021
Social Media

The Talk To Have About Instagram At Home Right Now

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.

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tech talk tuesdays
October 5, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Discussing The Facebook Whistleblower With Our Kids

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 TTT

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September 28, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Responding To The “Facebook Files,” Let’s Act Now!

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.

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tech talk tuesdays
September 21, 2021
Mental Health

3 Questions To Ask Your Kids About Suicide Prevention

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.

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tech talk tuesdays
September 14, 2021
Video Games

Should 3 Hours A Week of Gaming Be The law?

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?

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tech talk tuesdays
September 7, 2021
Homework & Schoolwork

The time for less phones in schools is now

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.

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August 31, 2021
Homework & Schoolwork

"Skill Them Up" — School Restarting

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.

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August 24, 2021
Mental Health

Is Anxiety Driving Your Parenting?

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.

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August 17, 2021
Challenging Conversations

PORN, Teach About It Or Not?

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.

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August 10, 2021
Challenging Conversations

Let's Tell Our Kids About The Work Of Marriage

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.

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August 3, 2021
Social Media

The Confusing Mixed Messages Of Their Online Influencers

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.

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tech talk tuesdays
July 27, 2021
Screen Time Rules

Two Moms, Two Experiments In Less Screen Time

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.

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tech talk tuesdays
July 20, 2021
Screen Time Rules

How To Limit Your Family’s News Intake For Better Emotional Health

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.”

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tech talk tuesdays
July 13, 2021
Screen Time Rules

Parents In Conflict Over Screen Time

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?

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tech talk tuesdays
July 6, 2021
Mental Health

Top 10 Tech Talk Tuesdays This Year

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.

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tech talk tuesdays
June 29, 2021
Challenging Conversations

We’re Talking Hot Love

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.

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tech talk tuesdays
June 22, 2021
Creativity

Tech Revolution Quiz To Do With Your Kids

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!

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June 15, 2021
Creativity

12 Summer-Fun Ideas For The Whole Family

“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.

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