In my conversations with teens, I saw hopeful signs that kids themselves are beginning to link some of their troubles to their ever-present phone. Athena told me that when she does spend time with her friends in person, they are often looking at their device instead of at her.
“I’m trying to talk to them about something, and they don’t actually look at my face,” she said. “They’re looking at their phone, or they’re looking at their Apple Watch.”
“What does that feel like, when you’re trying to talk to somebody face-to-face and they’re not looking at you?,” I asked.
“It kind of hurts,” she said. “It hurts. I know my parents’ generation didn’t do that. I could be talking about something super important to me, and they wouldn’t even be listening.”
-Jean M. Twenge (author of iGen)
"I worry, in general, about whether or not adults are paying enough attention.
When we shrug our shoulders and dismiss their world of digital media as if it were just a superficial distraction—unhealthy at worst, meaningless at best—we inadvertently let tech entrepreneurs, TV producers, and games developers shape our collective future. That’s unwise.
Instead, we need to remember that our greatest impact on the world comes not through what we produce ourselves, but rather through the adults we leave behind to make the future."
-Jordan Shapiro, PhD
“At this moment in time we can describe cyberspace as a place, separate from us, but very soon that distinction will become blurred.
By the time we get to 2020, when we are alone and immersed in our smart homes and smarter cars…we might wish we’d paid more attention.
As we set out on this journey, into the first quarter of the twenty-first century, what do we have now that we can’t afford to lose?”
-Mary Aiken (author of The Cyber Effect)
Our phones are not neutral. They are designed to "psychologically manipulate us and give us measured dopamine hits to keep us hooked."
-Sean Parker (the first president of Facebook)
"By shaping the menus we pick from, technology hijacks the way we perceive our choices and replaces them with new ones. But the closer we pay attention to the options we are given, the more we'll notice when they don't actually align with our true needs."
-Tristan Harris (former Google programmer)
"The short-term dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works."
-Chamath Palihapitiya (former Facebook Exec)
"Social media platforms hire attention engineers who try to make these products as addictive as possible. That maximizes the profit made from your data and attention.
Social media brings with it multiple harms: permanently reducing your capacity to concentrate, more likely to feel lonely and isolated and increases feelings of inadequacy and depression."
-Cal Newport (author of Deep Work)
Rules for Children under 12
The ways in which children are raised and educated with technology are no longer sustainable. Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology. A team-based approach is necessary and urgent in order to reduce the use of technology by children."
-Chris Rowan (Pediatric Occupational Therapist)
10 Steps to Recovering
1. Make a commitment to live in reality. 2.Live in real time. 3.Live one decision at a time and one day at a time. 4.Make decisions that only support your self-care. 5.Start feeling your emotions. 6.Learn to grieve. 7.Understand the “hook.” 8. Write a list of bottom-line behaviors for yourself. 9.Build your life. 10.Build healthy connections.
-Sharie Stines, PsyD
If you were advising a friend on quitting their behavioral addictions, what would you suggest?
"I’d suggest that they be more mindful about how they are allowing tech to invade their life. Next, they should cordon it off. I like the idea, for instance, of not answering email after six at night.
In general, I’d say find more time to be in natural environments, to sit face to face with someone in a long conversation without any technology in the room. There should be times of the day where it looks like the 1950s or where you are sitting in a room and you can’t tell what era you are in. You shouldn’t always be looking at screens."
-Adam Alter (author of Irresistible)