As parents, our job is to raise children to become responsible adults. If we're lucky, we get to help them realize their potential and witness their satisfaction for a job well done. And, when we signed up for the parenting job, we knew the teen years would be hard. But, now that technology has invaded every part of life, it’s REALLY hard!
Clearly there are many benefits of technology. But, the threats of pervasive devices and unfettered media consumption are serious and growing. It’s tempting to dismiss modern teen distractions as harmless—akin to chatting on the phone connected to a curly cord, watching hours of TV together and jamming to our favorite albums. But don’t kid yourselves. This, my friends, is a whole new world.
What’s different? Everything. The digital revolution has transformed the way we live, love and learn. A few notable trends have emerged in our society.
Unfortunately, the Techopoly--Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, YouTube, etc.--whose advertising-driven business model relies upon our tech addiction, isn’t coming to our rescue any time soon.
There are hundreds of books, reams of data and dozens of studies that quantify the dangers of unbalanced media consumption on adolescents. The conclusion is clear, technology is endangering our teens’ future and the family connections we cherish.
But who has the time to cull through all the facts? Is there an easy answer? Can you buy a device or an app to fix the problem? Is there anything you can do? There’s no easy answer, but we’re here to help.
- Parents: Dual working parents are exhausted when they get home and prefer not to incite fights with teens.
- Teens: Teens schedules are packed with school, sports and homework. With so much anxiety, they view social and streaming media as an antidote to the anxiety of sitting and doing rote, uninspiring work all day.
- K-12: Our institutions are still training factory workers, despite mounds of research that proves the lecture-homework model to be ineffective.
- College & Career: Beyond high school, our teens’ most valuable skills will be those that optimize time, focus and mindset. Repeatable jobs can be easily outsourced and entirely replaced in 5 years. Our kids need to be able to focus on cognitively demanding work to create value.
- Devices: connected devices are ubiquitous, as much a part of a school and home necessity as a pencil box used to be. Yet, our DNA and regulations have not kept pace with speed at which these devices spready. Today, we allow our kids to access too much, too soon, too often.
- Content: the Techopoly leaders -- Google, Amazon, Snapchat, Netflix, Apple, etc. -- are using gambling science and artificial intelligence to direct our attention and behavior in irresistible way -- a behavioral addiction as powerful as gambling. The slot machine effect, or pavlovian reward for constant checking notifications, permeates all touch points of the consumer experience online.
Be the Change
ScreenAge BootCamp (SABC) courses will guide you through a step-by-step process to decrease anxiety in the home, enforce your beliefs and prepare your teens for the future.
We will explain the the science of the teen brain, illustrate ways technology distracts us from life and walk you through the tools and systems to change behavior.
Parents have the hardest jobs in the world and the tech addiction battle is going to get worse before it gets better. But your family is worth the fight. SABC will be your Guide, let’s take back our teens!
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
-- Mahatma Gandhi