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"

all posts

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank youpre! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Speech Bubble icon
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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?

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
January 18, 2022
Media Literacy

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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
January 11, 2022
Screen Time Reduction Skills

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

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
January 4, 2022
Screen Time Reduction 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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
December 28, 2021
Media Recommendations

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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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...

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
November 23, 2021
Creativity

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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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.”

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
November 2, 2021
Parenting Resources

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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
October 19, 2021
School Environments

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?”

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
September 21, 2021
Depression

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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
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?

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
September 7, 2021
School Environments

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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
August 31, 2021
School Environments

"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.

READ MORE >
Speech Bubble icon
tech talk tuesdays
August 24, 2021
Anxiety

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.

READ MORE >