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. 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. 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 that Silicon Valley 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 changes to our behavior. I look forward to showing students how to do all these things at Westmark School on May 24.