Technology and your family: A conflicted relationship

  • Margaret Nelson

Published: 2/20/2019 11:05:22 AM

Technology is our friend. Technology is our foe. We have a conflicted relationship with the little glowing rectangle in our pocket.

Some recall the ‘good ole days’ when parents struggled to get their kids to turn down the hi-fi. Now we concern ourselves with connecting to the wi-fi.

How much do we really know what our new technology is doing to us? To our children? We readily see some of the pitfalls. Teens who are glued to their cell phone, as if all that really mattered was on that tiny screen. Cyberbullying. Sexting. Adults overusing FaceBook. Dancing goats- are we really wasting time watching this stuff?! Work calls being allowed to interrupt everything from dinner time to family vacations – just because you can.

But, there is much good that comes from our incredible technological advances. Is your teen daughter driving home in a snow storm? If she has problems she can call you. I can text the grocery list to my husband. Stay in regular touch with my far-flung family. And if I don’t know what a word means, I can look it up –all at my fingertips.

The good news is The River Center has a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about how screen time is effecting you and effecting your kids. We will be showing the film SCREENAGERS at Peterborough Community Theatre on Tuesday, March 5, at 6:30PM. You should come. You should bring your teens. You might want to bring your co-workers. Bring whoever. Just be there (it’s free thanks to a generous sponsor).

Here is some more information about the film which I have shamelessly copied here from their website:

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.

In SCREENAGERS, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

I hope to see you at the Peterborough Community Theatre on March 5 at 6:30. You can sit back, eat some popcorn and learn more about that little glowing rectangle in your pocket.

Margaret Nelson is executive director at the River Center Family and Community Resource Center in Peterborough.


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