Last month, the Syosset Council of PTAs Health & Safety Committee invited parents to attend a presentation entitled “Behind the Screens: Effects of the Digital Age.” The presentation was given by Lauren Navarra from the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD). The focus of the program is to teach parents and their children the reasons why screen time is addictive, the ways in which it affects brain chemistry and some helpful techniques and practices to balance the use of technology.
Navarra referred to parents as technology immigrants and their children as technology natives, because children were born into a world with technology at their fingertips, while their parents had to adapt to and evolve to this way of life. She shared statistics about the
astounding number of hours children and teenagers spend on a screen each day and over the course of the week, as well as how screens affect the chemical makeup of the brain and therefore personality.
The presentation also encouraged parents to be wary of social media and its effect on real life relationships, to be understanding of the popularity of gaming and to also encourage the benefits of technology, such as the ability to connect with friends and family who live long distance for example.
Navarra encouraged parents to be good role models about screen time use, to help children and teens learn safe practices regarding the internet and most importantly, help them learn how to balance technology with being present in the real world.
-Submitted by the Syosset Council of PTA