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    Teens and Technology-Tips Towards Finding a Healthy Balance

    People of all ages use technology for various reasons throughout the day. We utilize it at work, we stay in communication with friends and family, we search for current events or answers to our random questions. The internet and technology have created massive changes and advances all around us. 

    Have you noticed your child is quicker to learn about a new app or headline before you? Do you find yourself asking your teenager for help when it comes to using your cell phone? Is your child the IT department at home?  

    It’s amazing how engaged and aware they’ve become. School systems have found creative ways to incorporate technology into daily lessons and projects. I catch my son fully engaged on his Ipod, whether it’s an assignment, watching a show or surfing the web. He even assists with the online shopping.

    Technology has a major impact on how we connect with one another. Although social media networks were created to help stay in communication with one another, it seems to have the opposite effect at times. As soon as you stop looking at the screen and glance up, you feel alone in the world.

    Where we get into a sticky situation is  when it comes to supervision. How aware are you of what your child/teen is actually searching or who they are messaging? Can we fully protect them from inappropriate content that is easily accessible? Are they safe corresponding with friends on their device or could they possibly be chatting with someone else behind the screen?

    Unfortunately, it's also become easier for teens to bully one another online. Communicating online can create a false sense of confidence, anonymity and protection. It’s easy to forget that what is said and done online can be saved and shared with anyone - and often has very real consequences in your personal life. 

    Here are a few tips to you help you and your child maintain a healthy balance with technology.

    • Think before posting- don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say in person.
    • Process information through a realistic lens- don’t believe everything you read or see.
    • Reach out to adults or professionals when you need help or have a question- don’t use online resources as your only information source.
    • Practice good tech security- don’t share your password with anyone.
    • Make conscious choices about how much time you spend on your devices and remember to invest in face-to-face relationships. 

    Technology can be very beneficial for a variety of reasons. However, if you are not careful, it can quickly switch from being your best friend to your worst enemy. If you are struggling with personal technology use, it’s important to be mindful of maintaining a healthy balance. Parents should consider monitoring their child/teen’s devices for a variety of healthy reasons.

    At Pathways Counseling Services our therapists can assist you and your loved ones in finding a healthy balance and maintain open communication. Technology is quickly changing the way we live our day to day lives but that doesn’t mean you should lose any personal relationships. Please feel free to schedule an appointment online or call us at 480-235-1682 with any questions that you may have.  

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