My kids playing “Minecraft”, image from TechDetoxBox.com

Why Is Screen Time Parenting So Hard?

Parenting is difficult and messy enough. By intentionally keeping our kids off screens for extended periods of time, we are making it even harder. Creating more parenting work for ourselves than we would like.

They constantly pester us with their needs and requests.

They get loud.

They make an honest attempt to entertain themselves off-screen, and as a result, Legos and board games are scattered all over the their rooms — and our adult spaces that we would prefer to keep clean and presentable.

They fight with…


Image from TechDetoxBox.com

Filter Out What You Can Do Without

In the world where every piece of content is designed to steal your time and manipulate your mind, selective ignorance can help you stay productive, independent — and sane.

This can include news, social media updates, emails, ads, notifications — anything YOU DO NOT NEED.

Wait a minute. Don’t I need to be informed about the state of the world?

At what cost?

Protect Your Time

The Cost of “Being Informed”

In our race to “be informed” and never “miss out” we spend 12…


Original image by bermix studio on unsplash

How young is too young to lose the innocence of childhood? To discover that the world could be an ugly and dangerous place?

When my 10-year old daughter got an iPad for her birthday, we were excited to check out her favorite cat videos on YouTube together. We turned on the iPad, opened Safari browser, and I typed the letter Y in the address box. Autosuggestion filled out the rest. The site that it offered to my innocent child was Youporn — not YouTube.

Open Internet is like that. Exposure to darkness can happen when we least expect it.

Cat videos had to wait. I spent hours setting up content filters before we tried again.

Pornography

27% of all online videos are pornographic. More…


Dirt in Your Digital Footprint: Online Reputation techdetoxbox.com
Dirt in Your Digital Footprint: Online Reputation techdetoxbox.com
Image by Jack Millard on Unsplash

What happens when there is dirt in your digital footprint?

Online reputation, once ruined, can lead to catastrophic consequences. The frontiers of algorithmic discrimination are expanding: they range from being denied access to education and employment to being shamed forever by all of humanity.

“I Did Not Mean It!” is Not an Excuse

It’s easy to make mistakes in the digital world. Especially if you are young and “did not mean it”.

Teenagers do not give a second thought to the fact that everything they post online is permanent and not private. The sheer amount of content they overshare with adolescent impulsivity makes mistakes inevitable — simply by the law of large numbers. Somebody would be offended by what…


Image by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

“Being enough is an inside job” (Anne Lamott)

Comparison Trap

Social comparison is the name of the game on social media. The race is on to accomplish perfection in the world where everyone seems superior. No matter how many hours a day young users spend to build a perfect profile, it’s an impossible goal — there is always someone prettier, smarter, better than you.

“Comparison is a thief of joy”, said Theodore Roosevelt in the beginning of the 20th century.

“Pride is the root of all sin”, said the Bible 2000 years ago.


Emotionally Fragile Online Self
Emotionally Fragile Online Self
Image by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

At the first sign of a feeling they reach for the phone. Boredom is the most frequent emotion, but there are others: anger, sadness, fear. When uncomfortable feelings arise, they take an easy way out:

  • The feeling is expelled out of the system into a social media post, or
  • The feeling is drowned in distraction of another YouTube video or gaming session.

The emotion itself is not addressed. By taking the path of least resistance, young people who never learned to deal with their feelings fall apart at the first sign of adversity. …


all seeing eye internet of things beware the surveillance
all seeing eye internet of things beware the surveillance

The Trojan Horse of Surveillance

If you value your freedom, consider keeping your home “dumb”. Smart devices are all the rage, but the privacy policies of Internet of Things (IoT) reveal them for what they really are — the Trojan horse of surveillance.

Gadgets are fun, miraculous, they save time and money, they make us look cool, they even facilitate good habits! What’s not to like?

The ancient Greek myth about the Trojan war is a cautionary tale. In the story, the Greeks besieging the independent city of Troy designed a cunning plan to…


Tools for Distraction and Cheating

Smartphones at schools wreck our children’s education and destroy their capacity to learn. Teachers stand no chance against YouTube and Instagram.

The phone with all its distractions is accepted as a necessary evil, and is integrated as an education “tool”. Teachers even assign homework that requires students to make photos and videos on their phones, assuming everybody has one.

Parents of high schoolers in our district also talk of rampant cheating. Kids use their phones to copy each other’s homework, look up and share answers for tests, and upload entire assignments to websites that do the work for them. …


Photo by CoinView App on Unsplash

Let’s face it — our children are distracted.

When they are supposed to do their homework, the siren call of digital distractions is just too strong to resist. My son’s favorite is memes. I would estimate that any given hour of his homework is 10 minutes work, and 50 minutes time wasted on mindless entertainment.

  • They are watching YouTube and TikTok.
  • They are browsing Instagram and Snapchat.
  • They are playing Minecraft and Roblox and AmongUs.

It’s not their fault. It’s not a flaw in their character. Nor is it our parenting failure either. It’s an intentional…


If you are afraid, you dare not disengage

fear emoji
fear emoji

The more frightened we are by the messages on our screens, the more likely we are to pay attention. Our animal brain is scanning the environment for danger — and digital media delivers.

Viruses, terrorism, natural disasters, breakdown of democracy, real or perceived assaults on our rights are broadcasted online to activate our evolutionary survival mechanism. If you are afraid, you dare not disengage. Shock value of fear-inducing content grabs and holds our attention and converts it…

TechDetox Mom

Mom of 3, practitioner of the craft of screen time. Founded the blog www.TechDetoxBox.com to help protect human well-being from the power of addictive tech.

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