Do you have a love/hate relationship with your smartphone? Is it within arm’s reach when you sleep? Are you worried about all the kids and teens you see with faces lit up by the blue glow? If so, you’re in good company.
I just read (and highly recommend) Catherine Price’s How to Break Up with Your Phone. This slim volume packs in plenty of tips for feeling in control of your technological life. No, it doesn’t recommend giving up your smartphone entirely, but it does encourage us to be thoughtful and intentional about how we use these tools.
I followed that book up with iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood (and What That Means for the Rest of Us). The title kind of says it all, right? Even if you’re not a parent, keep in mind that iGen (people born in 1995 and later) currently make up 25% of the population. Their interests, habits and opinions will have a major impact on the future of our society.
Neither of these books are all doom and gloom, and both offer practical ideas that we can begin to implement right away. They also offer plenty to think about. For example, it’s important to keep in mind that our phones are designed to addict us. There’s a reason that tech giants like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates delayed and limited their own children’s access to technology and screen time. Our phones are amazing tools! We just need to ensure that we are controlling them and not the other way around.