Teens and Technology

Today most teens insist on sporting the latest gadgets, and their technospeak can leave you pulling at your hair. Alarmingly, this newfound love for screens and routers distracts some teens, instead of enabling their education. And teenage internet addiction can be a difficult problem to resolve.

Parents welcome technology devices in the home as helpful tools. (Who doesn’t want a homework assistant, a boredom killer, or a virtual chaperone a pre-installed geo-tracker for their teen?) But without parameters, technology is like the obnoxious houseguest who overstays his welcome, while consuming all the snacks in the fridge.

Advancement in technology and communication has resulted in numerous gadgets. Every second a new gadget is being introduced in the consumer market. People have come to a point where they cannot live without these gadgets. As a result, gadget addiction has become a serious problem in the world especially among the youth. Gadget addiction is enjoying a particular activity very much such as laptops, IPods and Play Station and spending as much time as possible. Today, it is difficult to imagine a teenager without a mobile phone or any other gadgets. Gadget addiction is caused by the desire to get more freedom and the attraction of the gadget applications. Subsequently, this addiction may cause unhealthy lifestyle among teenagers and affect their academic performance.

The first cause for gadget addiction among youth is the desire to get more freedom. The reason for this situation is video games provide a window to another world, where the person playing the games holds all the power and decides the fate of all the virtual lives. This is in contrast to the real world which is full of stress, failure, bullying and conflicts. In other words, freedom that comes from the video games helps teens feel more powerful and confident.
Children are having problems concentrating in school and have motor skills worryingly below their appropriate age because they are spending “hours” playing computer games each day.

Here are some tips to keep your teenagers off technology:

1. Teach teens to pick up on marketing ploys. Teens who are wise to the ways of marketing, advertising and the media work, are also more keen to tricks of the industry. Remember that teens have been lured to their screens by masters of their craft, highly paid communication experts whose sole responsibility is to secure kids eyeballs and keep them watching day and night. Ask your kids questions about the advertisements they see, questions like: What’s being sold? How is the selling done? Who does the advertiser want to entice? That type of conversation encourages critical thinking in place of passive viewing.

2. Find allies in other parents. Connect with families from the neighborhood, school, and local place of worship and find out what other parents do to manage technology use in the home. Each family must determine the principles and practices that will work for them . . . But there is so much we can learn from the opinions of others.

3. Don’t just limit media use. Find activities to replace it. And be creative about it. Creativity, and the desire to try new things like storytelling can lighten load and inject fun in their lives in simple ways.
4. Be O.K. with the backlash that comes with setting parental limits. This is one of those simple and timeless parenting principles. Find which rules work and stick to them. Don’t cave to slam doors and sucked teeth:

5. Psychologists say that when our children shout their demands and complaints at us, they are rehearsing to get their way in the world. Parents are the easiest and safest targets for them to practice on. Will we cover our ears, or will we take the opportunity to teach, guide, and protect?”

6. Find ways to make technology habits productive. A technology obsessed teen might be finding a passion. Channel that and put it to work. Enroll that kid in a programming, animation, or app design class.

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