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TECH TALK TUESDAY

With her current film, Screenagers, Delaney launched her Tech Talk Tuesday (TTT) blog. For nearly two years Delaney has written weekly on topics related to the impact of screen time on today’s youth and how we can help kids, and ourselves, achieve a more balanced life.​ Thousands of people have signed up to get the blog weekly in their email.​

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Attention: Are we giving our kids enough?

When it comes to relationships, the most important thing one must bring to the table is one’s attention. Our attention is a precious gift that we decide to give or withhold from others. In an app-development class, 4th to 7th graders were asked to define a problem and then come up with an app that offers a solution

Screen-free car rides and Apple's new Do Not Disturb while driving feature

Last week we talked about screen-free zones. This week we are going to talk about one of the most important screen-free zones: the car. As drivers we know we can be distracted with the pings and buzzes of our cell phones or when we are bored at a stop light.

Later school time is trending… What do you think?

School is back in session. For most of us, that means early mornings and sleepy kids. The national average start time for American public high schools is 7:59 a.m., with some starting as early as 7:00 a.m., according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  My son just did his last two years of high school in New York and his start time was 7:05 a.m. Why so early?

Principal offers $100 to students to give up their screens, see what happens...Write a catchy title...

If you were asked to give up your phone one day a week for $100, would you do it?  In June, Dr. Diana Smith, the principal of Washington Latin, a public charter school in Washington DC, challenged the 8th and 9th grade students to forgo any type of screen time—phone, television, tablet, video game consoles, etc.—every Tuesday over the entire summer.

Social media — helping or harming your mental health?

In May 2017, a survey by the Royal Society for Public Health in England revealed that 3 of the 4 most popular social media platforms/apps had a net negative effect on the mental well-being of young people. Surveying nearly 1,500 teenagers and young adults aged 14 to 24 from February through May of 2017, the survey asked about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.​

Remember Andrew? His recovery story continues

Remember Andrew from Screenagers? The college student who struggled with an addiction to video gaming.  We recently checked in with him to find out how he has been and what he is up to today.

How to talk to kids about porn

Who ever thought that we would be living in a world where porn would just pop up unannounced on our screens? I was disappointed recently to see all sorts of sexual content pop up at the end of a YouTube trailer for Embrace, a serious documentary about body image issues.

10 documentaries to watch with your family

Let’s face it—our kids are exposed to lots of media that is pure junk. Media frequently paints a world filled with such intense negativity— people out to impress, people out for themselves, people out to hurt others...the list goes on and on. So how to expose kids to media that has positive messages but is not overly sappy? To find media that is real and meaningful? In my completely unbiased view, I think documentaries make for great media. Okay, I am biased because I am one of many people who make documentaries. 

What are your main tech rules?

Families today are busy. Often everyone is running in different directions, and texting each other under the same roof is becoming the new normal. This disconnect in personal touch is troublesome.  

To keep our sanity, and our face-to-face conversations alive, my family follows four rules:

Top apps to help limit screen time for your kids

We've all lost track of time when using our phones. So many parents, myself included, want to make sure the screen time limits we've set are being followed by ourselves and our children. And we'd like the limits to be respected without saying "time's up" all the time. Luckily for us, there are several apps out there designed to manage screen time limits so we don't always have to. 

What is the right age to give your kids their own device?

Yesterday I was talking to a mom in San Francisco who saw Screenagers this fall and she told me that she was disappointed that I gave Tessa a phone in the end. She had seen my struggle with the issue through the movie but was really hoping I wouldn't cave. This mom has a 14-year old and has been very resolute about not giving herdaughter a phone. Her daughter takes the public bus around the city and walks all over town by herself but she doesn't have a phone. She asked me, "Why not just say 'no'?" 

How do "likes" affect kids' brains?

This recent UCLA study about what happens in a teens’ brain when they get a “like” on their photo is very interesting. The researchers looked at brain scans of teenagers while they were looking at “neutral” photos, such as friends having innocent fun, and “risky” photos, that included photos of teens drinking alcohol and wearing sexy clothes.

Sleep: Is this one time you can separate from your phone?

A new meta-analysis published in Jama Pediatrics confirmed how portable devices like cellphones and tablets are seriously affecting our children's sleep.  Sleep is one of the biggest pediatric public health issues of our time. I hear this firsthand when I ask groups in the post-screening discussions "who sleeps with their cellphones their room?" Most hands in the room go up.

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