“Ban Russian Bots.” The words shone brightly projected across Twitter headquarters. Not long after, a listener of NPR’s 1a wrote: “Wish there was a national movement, like a Quit Facebook day. If they lost a million plus U.S. users in 1 day, it would give reformers inside the company the momentum they need.” Then came the medical community. At a research summit on how technology affects kids, a health policy expert issued a call to action: “Urge companies to first Do No Harm.”
It’s happening. People are finally realizing technology doesn’t always operate in our best interests and they’re doing something about it.
“Facebook builds in operant conditioning and wants you to use it ten hours a day,” declared Dr. Dimitri Christakis, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Also speaking at the research summit, the policy expert, Georgetown University’s Kathryn Montgomery, took it a step further: “Woven into the business model is not just engagement, but engagement for the purposes of advertising and data collection. They need to put a limit on the information that can be collected and the way information can be used to target individuals.”
Even Tony Fadell, who created the iPod and oversaw rollout of the iPhone, called out personal technology Continue reading →
If you were lucky enough not to be blown away by disasters like Harvey or Irma, you might feel powerless in the face of all the suffering and destruction. But you can flip that attitude into action by brandishing your human-only superpower of generosity.
Consider the Houston Independent School district. Harvey’s rain was still pounding when district officials decided every one of their 215,000 students could eat breakfast and lunch for free the entire school year. They knew returning to normalcy would take time and, if students were to continue to grow and learn, they needed regular nutritious meals.
In Texas, the display of durability was stunning on the part of the Cajun Navy and other just-plain-folks freely giving of their time and skills. That’s why, in the days before Irma, Florida’s governor made an explicit pitch for volunteers. Within 36 hours, 8,000 residents had signed up with VolunteerFlorida.
That’s the thing about generosity. It takes effort.
Philosopher C.S. Lewis wrote:
If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small.
Donating an old, stained coat may count as “generosity,” but it can actually be a relief to pitch it. True generosity hurts, if only a little.
Generosity for The World
Considering our overall state of busy-ness, to feel the pinch of generosity may be a matter of Continue reading →
With the start of school, you want your kids to have plenty of time for homework. But what about everything else they need, like to play and sit down for meals? Two easy-to-use online tools help kids of any age to be more balanced, active, and durable–in school and out.
You can make a custom profile for each child, based on his or her age. For older kids, the plan also covers tech use and driving.
To create an ideal 24-hour schedule, sit down with your child and click through the Media Time Calculator. The Calculator’s timeline starts out with LOTS of media time, but as you add in other activities such as getting dressed and meals, the minutes quickly disappear that are available for things like playing video games. The Calculator is pre-populated with the AAP’s recommended time for exercise and sleep.
Watch how easy it is to use the Calculator in this 3-minute video:
If digital gadgets and games are being designed to attract and hold kids’ attention, American pediatricians are pushing back with their own design.
“The goal is to give parents, and everybody really, a visual of how a child’s day maps out and we can really understand what affects the balance in their lives and what you need to do to have a balanced lifestyle,” says Corinn Cross, MD, FAPP, who came up with the idea for the Media Time Calculator, a major piece of the American Academy of Pediatrics new Family Media Plan.
Parents and kids can sit down together and use the calculator to ensure a 24-hour day includes not only screen time, but everything else a child needs to be healthy, balanced, and durable.
Cross hopes the tool will help families make time decisions based on their own needs and priorities. “We don’t want media use to be the driving force, but just to fill in gaps.”
In the Media Time Calculator, the recommended times for sleep and physical activity are set by default according to a child’s age. You can see in this 3-minute demo how time available for screen-based entertainment quickly disappears:
I define durable humandesign as “the making and doing of things that promote and advance one’s ability to be an effective, contributing human in a complex and increasingly digital world,” so the Media Time Calculator certainly qualifies.
Get a free 1-page printable Time Priorities checklist to help you help your family spend time wisely.