Digital Detox Day: We're In This Together
Woodward Academy’s school counselors are inviting all families to join together in a Digital Detox Day on Sunday, December 13, meaning adults and kids would take the day off from digital devices (except for work or school-related activities).
Ahead of Digital Detox Day, counselors offered parents the opportunity to view the documentary, Childhood 2.0, and then join the Parent Community’s Flock Together group discussions of the film on December 10. If you haven’t yet seen it, you can watch Childhood 2.0 here. Please note the documentary is not rated and may not be suitable viewing for kids under 13; counselors recommend parents watch it first before deciding if they want to view it with their older children.
WA counselors want to support families in navigating the uncharted terrain of parenting in the digital age. “In today’s society, it is easy, and sometimes even necessary, to be plugged in as much as possible. We have access to wireless internet, tablets, laptops, and cell phones. We can play games, text, check social media, and stream movies and shows anytime we desire. All of this can lead to a digital overload of information and stimulation. For some, it can also lead to an addiction,” said Tonya Dedeaux, Upper School counselor.
Screen time for adults and kids has skyrocketed over the past 10 years, along with rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide in teens and even younger children. Addiction expert Dr. Nicholas Kardaras found the average teenager now spends 11 hours per day in front of a screen, and a Common Sense Media report says teens average 7.5 hours daily on social networks, significantly impacting their social-emotional health, for better and for worse.
At the same time, the digital world is where kids hang out with friends, find inspiration, explore new interests, stay informed, and connect with the world at large, according to The Social Institute, a partner of Woodward Academy.
“We counselors are parents, too, and ours is the first generation of parents raising children whose lives are immersed in technology. We want to provide a safe space where we can engage as a community and support each other. We’re in this together,” said Carrie Lauchlan, Lower School counselor. “We’re hoping that our Flock Together discussions, followed by the Digital Detox Day, will give families a jumping off point for talking about these issues and for taking a breather to relate to each other without the distraction of screens.”
Resources for parents: