Screen Addiction: How We Can Use Technology Positively vs Negatively

Screen addiction–it’s become the new fear of most parents. As technology becomes more and more embedded in our lives, there’s a scary question wrecking our minds: is it harming our children? The answer is more complicated than one might think.

Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, creator of the podcast Savvy Psychologist, tackled this very question in a recent episode.

The real questions about screen addiction

In the episode, she went on to ask 3 questions that have been haunting parents for years: Are screens educational? Do screens drive us apart? Does screen-time mess with our social abilities?

Can screens be used in education?
Yes, screens can be used productively in education in order to effectively spur on learning. The catch is that they shouldn’t be the relied upon. Screens become ineffective when we rely on them to do all the work. Instead, they should be bolstering the educational process like any other tool.

You can’t replace a teacher with a screen, but a teacher can use a screen to help students practice and better understand subjects.

Do screens drive us away from each other?
Technology has the potential to connect people leagues away from each other. Certain games can bolster teamwork and communication skills–but we have to be careful.

Hendriksen brought up a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology which showed that mothers and children tended to keep more to themselves when reading a book on a tablet together compared to reading a paper book.

She made the point that by consciously choosing to fight that response, the outcomes may be different, though. Simply being next to each other doesn’t create “bonding time,” it’s the interaction that does.

Do screens mess with our social skills?
Basically, it can mess it up if there’s too much screen-time. It’s important to recognize common sense, though. Hendriksen says, “Rather than getting out the timer and focusing exclusively on quantity, focus on quality.”
AKA, does she have friends? Is she interacting with others? Or is she isolating herself and only on her phone? Screens aren’t all bad, if your daughter is on her phone it doesn’t immediately mean she has a screen addiction–just stay aware of her interactions with others.

Screens aren’t the end of the world, but be cautious

Technology is an unavoidable part of life now, but we still need to teach our children how to use it properly. Allowing them unfettered access without any guidance is a mistake and can lead to serious issues down the line (like a screen addiction).

If you believe your daughter may be struggling with a screen addiction or other mental health issues, it’s critical to reach out to a professional.

Asheville Academy is here for your family

Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for girls, ages 10-14. Our students commonly struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, learning differences, and other behavioral or emotional challenges. We understand that transitioning into middle school can be stressful for the whole family, but Asheville Academy is here to help.

With the help of our licensed therapists, experienced teachers, caring staff, and expertly designed program, our students move closer to a healthier life. We use the best tactics and therapeutic methods in order to help our students thrive at Asheville Academy.

For more information about how we help with screen addiction at Asheville Academy, call 800-264-8709 today.