Monitor teen time online?
You might expect us at Solway Communications to want everyone online as much as possible. However, Solway is all about building a strong, healthy community. With tech, as with anything, too much of a good thing soon becomes a bad thing.
The teen environment
We know the teenage brain is still undergoing rapid change, with their neural networks completely restructuring as they grow. As such, it’s important that we create the right environment for teens. One which allows them to develop in the right way.
Luckily there’s a wealth of research that shows simple things can make a huge difference.
Keeping a good diet
An obvious one is diet, with evidence showing that eating too much sugar – something many of us are guilty of – can actually have a negative impact on cognitive function and mood.
Keeping a balanced diet can play a big part in keeping a teen happy and healthy.
A balancing act
Just as our diets need to be balanced, so does our use of technology, as too much tech can also have a damaging effect.
For example, while we’re asleep our brains are very active – especially in teenagers. The restructuring their brain undergoes requires undisturbed time.
Something like a flickering screen light or music is counter intuitive to that.
The value of boredom
Another negative of too much tech time is the lack of boredom.
The pattern of human behaviour has always been moments of activity followed by inactivity. If a gadget provides stimulation at every moment of boredom then time for quiet reflection is lost.
Give them time
When it comes to teens, it’s helpful to be understanding of the fact that they really do perceive things differently.
For example, a teen on their phone needs time to disengage from what they’re doing before they’ll be ready to take in new information.
Giving them 30 seconds or so after putting the phone away will let the fog clear, lead to a better response, and better reaction overall.
Ultimately you can’t tell teens what to do, but you can change their environment. And really, we have to, otherwise their brains may soon resemble mashed potato!
With Solway’s best wishes for Christmas and a mentally healthy New Year