Greetings from brain-overload-land!
If you’re like me, your mind AND your podcast feed are full of all things health, politics, and tentative-back-to-school. I haven’t had much bandwidth to digest new info around building an intentional digital family life. At home, we’ve set up some summer parameters with the kids, built in some screen-free breaks here and there, and we try to role model and talk about healthy screen habits. So when the new Screenagers podcast launched recently, I let it come and go without listening.
When the Screenagers newsletter alerted me of the second podcast airing, I saw that the length of each episode was a mere 17-18 minutes and figured I’d give one a try. I wound up listening to both of the first episodes, and I’ve since decided to subscribe.
Here’s what I like most so far about the series overall:
- Relevant topics to current kid/parent life
- Engaging guests, including professional experts and kids
- Concrete tips that are do-able and embrace balance vs. all-or-nothing
- Content and style that seems fitting for tweens and teens, as well as parents
Episode 1 delves into Tik-Tok. The focus is not on whether it’s a worthwhile or safe app, but more on how to avoid overindulging. (Many parents delay or restrict access due to safety and privacy concerns). A highlight is that two teens who have been invited to set goals for themselves report back on how their lives improve when they stuck to their plans. The learning from this episode is easily transferable to any of the other apps-du-jour that might engage our kids now or in the future.
Episode 2 explores the challenges of video game overuse. I appreciated the honest sharing by a young man who’d received treatment at an internet rehab center where he now currently works. I also like that the featured psychologist, a gamer himself, urges balance versus total abstinence. Dr. Sussman suggests following an hour of high-dopamine activity like video-gaming with a period at least that long of low-dopamine activity like physical exercise, playing an instrument, or cooking. I was grateful for the reminder that with kids, it’s a good idea to set a regular interval (say, 30 minutes or an hour) so their brains get used to anticipating the end of a session transitioning off-screen is more smooth.
To learn more about these two topics, and much more, our favorite parent resource is CommonSense Media A quick search on these or many other screen-based activities of interest to kids will likely lead you to what you need to know. As always, feel free to get in touch if you’d like help finding more answers.
Wishing you peace and safety for the remaining weeks of summer!
P.S. We’re still sad to have had to cancel our March screening of the Screenagers film sequel. Please let us know if you’re interested in having us host an online viewing opportunity at some point.