This isn't a workshop about how damaging smartphones are. I haven't been sent by the parents to wag my finger and scare the kids off line. I love my smartphone - for connecting me to other people, telling me how to get where I'm going, and helping me share information instantly.
Besides, there are already plenty of people screaming from the rooftops about how kids are online too much. It's been scientifically proven that multi-tasking online hurts your brain. And the scariest part is that the phone doesn’t even need to be on to have this effect on us. I really don't need to add my voice to that crowd.
But I do have something to say about smartphones. When parents and teens argue about how much the phone is being used, they become locked in a power struggle that nobody wins, except maybe the tech giants in Silicon Valley. The solution is far more complicated - yet effective - than simply taking the phone away. It's to change the relationship between the phone and its user. We want the phone to be a tool that enhances our life, and not a tool the tech industry uses to hook and manipulate us.
We can take back control by changing the settings on our phone, understanding the way behavior, thoughts, and feelings affect each other, and making small lifestyle changes. I look forward to sharing how to do this when I make the Key Note presentation during Exchange Day for Louisville High School and Crespi Carmelite High Schools.