A recent article by Professor Jean Twenge on the subject of teen mental health highlights the dangerous effects that smartphones and social media are having on our teens, with studies to back it up. And one of my favorite authors and motivational speakers, Simon Sinek, has been speaking for several years now on the dopamine-type effects of Internet addiction. Check out his excellent interview on the subject here: Simon Sinek on Millennials and Internet Addiction.
I think most adults are starting to admit what we have suspected for awhile now, which is that too much online activity, and not enough real world interaction, are having detrimental effects on our youth. We adults are starting to understand the effects, but how to convince the kids? I fear that unless something is done about it soon, the up and coming generations are going to suffer even more. Now kids have their own smartphones before they even reach double digits. I dread what they will become of them.
The formula seems pretty simple:
More real world human interaction + Less online activity = Healthier Teens
But the puzzle lies in how to make this happen. How can we convince the kids to give up their phone time for more real time? It breaks my heart to think of all the beauty and wonder and adventure that this world has to offer, and yet our youth are completely unaware because they are stuck on social media.
“Life is too precious to permit its devaluation by living pointlessly, emptily, without meaning, without love and finally, without hope.” ~ Vaclav Havel