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Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
Finding Balance in a Tech World
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Finding Balance in a Tech World

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The Internet and various other forms of technology are here to stay. They make our lives easier in many ways, but they can be addictive and, at times, cause more harm than good. Dr. Mike Brooks …

The Internet and various other forms of technology are here to stay. They make our lives easier in many ways, but they can be addictive and, at times, cause more harm than good. Dr. Mike Brooks reviewed some of the positive and negative effects of technology and discussed the importance of finding a balanced life in our increasingly tech-dependent society to the 9th grade students at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas on April 27, 2010.

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
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  • 1. Finding Balance in a Tech World
    By
    Mike Brooks, Ph.D., LSSP
    Licensed Psychologist
    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
    Director: Austin Psychology &
    Assessment Center
    (ApaCenter – www.ApaCenter.com)
    April 27, 2010
  • 2. You Have Zero Friends
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LmAMa-SE8o&feature=related
  • 3. What We’ll Cover
    Tech Usage Stats
    Benefits of Technology
    Areas of Concern
    Tech Addiction
    Finding Balance: What can we do about it?
  • 4. A Few Introductory Thoughts
    Technology isn’t good or bad – it just is
    Books are inherently better? No way!
    Uses of a brick?
    There’s no turning back, only moving forward
    Parents: Don’t judge your teens!
    Teens: Don’t judge your parents!
    Caution: Our brains did not evolve to be in the world in which we now live
  • 5. Tech Usage Stats
    Kaiser Family Foundation study found that kids ages 8-18
    Spend 7.5 hours per day using tech on average
    Or 52.5 hours per week
    270 minutes/day watching TV
    73 minutes/day playing video games
    90 minutes/day text messaging
    89 minutes/day in non-school computer use
  • 6. Facebook Usage Stats
    More than 400 million active users
    Average user spends 55 minutes on FB per day
    8 billion minutes spent on FB per day (or over 15,000 human years spent per day)
    50% of active users log on every day
    3 billion photos uploaded every month
    100 million users access FB by mobile devices
    Mobile users are 50% more active than non-mobile users
  • 7. Benefits of Technology
    Benefits?: Your thoughts & examples
    Fun
    Connections/Relationship Building
    Makes Life More Efficient
    Power/Esteem
    Creativity/Innovation
    Freedom & Discovery
    Education/Learning
  • 8. New Technologies?
    Dropbox
    iPad – anyone have one/want one?
    Xbox Natal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2qlHoxPioM
    Other technologies?
  • 9. Areas of Concern
    Gaming – Can have benefits. Not proven to increase aggression, but potential is there.
    Sexting – You can be prosecuting for child pornography. It can spread and be there FOREVER.
    Tech Addictions – Lots of sources. It is a major problem.
    Texting & Driving – 23x more likely to crash.
    Multitasking – we task switch.
    Cyberbullying – Can devastate recipients.
    Porn – Um, don’t look at it. It will rot your brain!
  • 10. Tech Addiction – Is There Such a Thing?
    My experiences
    Your experiences (without divulging any private/embarrassing information!)
    What teens (& adults) tend to be getting addicted to…
  • 11. Tech Addictions
    MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games)
    WoW, Everquest II, LOTR Online, City of Heroes, Star Wars Galaxies, Runescape, Guild Wars, Sims Online
    Other video games – Halo 3, Modern Warfare 2, Guitar Hero
    Second Life
    Facebook, My Space, Twitter
    FarmVille
    Texting
    Email
    Blackberries, iPhone
    YouTube
    eBay
    Surfing
    Porn
  • 12. A Problem of Definition
    “Addiction” is a hypothetical construct
    No blood test for it or brain scan for it
    We can do brain scans and “see” addiction, but it still arbitrary as to when it crosses a threshold
    Is addiction merely describing an extreme range of a behavior or is it something more?
    When does frequent engagement cross the magic threshold into addiction?
    What about someone who swims/plays an instrument 5 hours per day?
    How do we know when/if we are “addicted” to tech?
    Examples? Do you have a “friend” who is addicted?
  • 13. Signs of Addiction
    Two classic signs apply to drugs/alcohol
    Increased tolerance
    Physiological withdrawal
    Significant negative functional impact on at least 2 major life domains
    School/work
    Friends, family
    Emotional well-being
    Sleep
  • 14. Why Tech Can Be Addictive
    Positive Reinforcement
    Social comparison
    Power/Esteem needs met
    Ease of access
    Anonymity
    Freedom
    Variety
    Social connections
    Discovery
    Find “flow” (i.e., get in “the zone”)
    Anticipation
  • 15. This Is Your Brain on Tech
    Many “addictive” technologies have a the “Vegas Effect” built into them (Tetris, Halo 3, texting, Facebook)
    Anticipation– what might happen next?
    Dopamine, a pleasure chemical in the brain, gets released when we are in a state of anticipation
  • 16. Vegas, Baby!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxD3CtpsT3Q
  • 17. The Vegas Effect & “Addictive” Behaviors
    Gambling
    Fishing & hunting
    Christmas? Easter egg hunts?
    American Idol, Survivor, Project Runway, Top Chef, & many other reality TV shows
    Pokémon Cards and any card collecting
    FB, My Space, Twitter, texting, email, etc.
  • 18. I got a Wii!!!!!!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52V5MlEqBOc
  • 19. Pokémon Ecstasy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PSvWR4dZKc&feature=related
  • 20. Help!
    Suggestions on managing my son’s tech time?
  • 21. Finding Balance with Tech
    Don’t get hung up on whether you are “addicted”
    Ask yourself: Is it a problem?
    When have you been happiest in life that doesn’t involve tech? What are real world activities that you find fun/engaging?
    Reconnect with those!
  • 22. Finding Balance with Tech
    Set some goals for grades, sports, other hobbies, homework time, income generation
    Prioritize them
    Determine how much tech time would still allow you to reach those goals
    Track your tech time
  • 23. Be Proactive About Tech Time
    Avoid tech/games (e.g., WoW) that inherently require lots of time
    Make tech less accessible
    No TV/game system in your bedroom
    Turn off the alert/ringer on the cell
    Don’t keep FB running in the background when online
    Turn cell off at a certain time at night
  • 24. Be Mindful
    Mindfulness is being aware of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sensations without judging them
    In a way, being mindful is the opposite of acting impulsively or without thinking
    Mindfulness exercise
    Mindfulness allows you the space to:
    Ask if what you are doing helping you get what you want?
    Ask this question of yourself before you engage in an activity – become an observer of your thoughts & behaviors
    Readjust what you are doing to find balance & achieve your goals
    You CAN have your cake & eat it too…if you work at this.

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