Unhealthy Tech Self-Check
Not everyone who uses technology is addicted. In fact, you can use technology a lot and still not be unhealthy.
Yet, there are people in our lives who struggle for a healthy balance. A lack of balanced technology takes away from the fullness of life and brings in hurt and distraction that takes away our full potential.
My Life: A struggle for tech balance
Take my life several years ago as an example: I gamed fewer than 10 hours a week and be a high-functioning addict. How did I know? Gaming took up all of my free thought and gaming impacted the amount of joy I had in a day.
Critical Tech Conversations:
As parents it is critical to have conversations with your child about their technology. Ask them what they enjoy. Talk about their favorite games, their friends, what bothers them and excites them. Social media and gaming habits are formed from daily choices.
So how do you spot addiction?
This is not a comprehensive list. Yet these 13 self-check questions will help begin the conversation about healthful, balanced technology.
- Think about technology even when you’re not playing them?
- Use technology instead of doing other important tasks?
- Struggle to set a time limit for playing, and keep it?
- Lose track of time while gaming?
- See negative impacts in other areas of your life?
- Hide, or have you ever felt a need to hide, your gaming from others?
- Escape reality with technology? Do you use tech to feel happier?
- Feel upset or frustrated when you can’t use technology?
- Get defensive when people try to talk to you about your tech habits?
- Spend more than a healthy amount of money on technology? (games, equipment, swag, tournaments, consoles, systems, etc.)
- Desire to need increase time more in order to enjoy your technology?
- Feel conflicted about technology? You want to keep doing it but you feel you are wasting time/money/life?
- Joke about the negative affects of technology (hangman’s humor)? (“When that game comes out that’ll be a week of life I’ll never see again…”, “I didn’t choose the gaming life, the gaming life chose me.”)
Did you or your child answer of “yes”, or even “sometimes” to any of these questions? Do you find yourself wanting to argue: “Yeah, but…”.
Circle these areas and discuss one of those a week with your child.
Your technology revolution has begun!
For more useful resources check out:
- Flint and Iron: www.flintandiron.org
- The University of Indiana: http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/hints/addictiveb.html
- The American Society for Addictive Medicine: http://www.asam.org/for-the-public/definition-of-addiction
- Video Game Addiction.org: http://www.video-game-addiction.org/symptoms-computer-addiction-teens.html on 9/13/2014
- Gary Stollman: http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/685 on 9/13/2014)
- University of Texas at Dallas: Computer Addiction http://www.utdallas.edu/counseling/computeraddiction/
Used with permission of Flint and Iron (501c3), 2017. All Rights Reserved