This article originally appeared on Verizon Wireless Mobile Living.
Ping! Beep! Bzz! These are the familiar sounds of digital distractions. They often trigger an irresistible urge to check in, respond, pin or share.
Mobile technology is beneficial in keeping families connected and safe, but using it in our everyday lives requires balance. Resisting the urge to check the frequent notifications on our phones, for instance, can be Herculean even for adults. For many teens, it’s nearly impossible. Brain science is helping us understand why.
Self-regulation is our capacity to control and plan thoughts, emotions and behaviors. When it comes to our kids using mobile technology, self-regulation enables them to do things like ignore text messages in order to carry on conversations. Both genetics and experience shape a child’s capacity to self-regulate, but parents also play an important role. That said, practice doesn’t always make perfect.
“We’ve talked and talked about our expectations around cell phone use after curfew. But it seems like it isn’t getting through! My teenage daughter still texts all night.”
Researchers are hard at work trying to help us understand why resisting digital distractions is so difficult. Three compelling reasons bubble to the top:
We need to get realistic about what our kids (and ourselves, for that matter) are capable of. Here are ways to reduce digital distractions, boosting productivity and managing your family’s tech time:
Cover image courtesy of Flickr.