Tag Archives: kids and technology

When the Maasai Picked Up the Phone

I’ve written before about Wisdom 2.0, the conference that bills itself as “addressing the great challenge of our age: to not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world.”

This year while I was there, I was lucky to get to know innovative yoga instructor and author, Elise Marie Collins. Over the days, we talked about what would have happened if we’d known ahead of time the consequences that spending so much time with personal digital technology would have on our minds and bodies. Continue reading

Cubicle Dwellers: This Design’s For You

Since word got out a few years ago that sitting too much isn’t healthy, products have become available that help people on the job, but some seem more fitting for a CEO. It took one of the many who work in cubicles to come up with a solution that works for them. This is her story.

Day Martin used to be a data analyst, a “knowledge worker,” as she likes to call people who make money using their minds, almost always while they’re sitting down. “They sit there all day, every day,” as she says. “They have to. It’s their job.”

That’s what she was doing at her job in suburban Washington, D.C. until one day, she had a car accident. When she recovered, she noticed something about her back: “I just had pain when I went to work.”

When she checked online, the Internet suggested she try a standing desk. But there was a problem: nothing on the market allowed her to stand comfortably inside her cubicle. “I thought it was obvious, but it wasn’t available.”

So Day decided to make one herself. At first, she hacked together some cardboard. That helped, but didn’t fit the office aesthetic. “People said stuff like, ‘How long are those boxes going to be sitting on your desk for?’”

Then, with assistance from her father-in-law the home builder, she made some sturdier prototypes. “My colleagues loved them. I was shocked at how many people have their back pain stories – I had no idea.”

To build her final design, she sourced parts from within the U.S. “What I love about American manufacturing is that it’s so much easier. I could get things in the mail in a couple of days.” In practically no time, the Stand Steady desk was born, as Day proudly reports Continue reading

Kids Need Parents to Pay Attention

Kids are getting fed up with all the time their parents spend on technology. Yes – those same kids who are themselves involved in upwards of 8 hours of media per day.

The news comes from top behavioral experts at the annual conference of the Family Online Safety Institute.  I was there in search of advice for reining in screen time now that the American Academy of Pediatrics says that children and teenagers should spend no more than two hours a day on digital media.

But it didn’t take long to realize those darned kids aren’t necessarily the trouble. To borrow a phrase from Pogo, we have met the enemy and he is us. Continue reading

Pediatricians to Parents: Kids Need a Media Diet

8 year old girl on cellphone

America’s pediatricians have an order for parents: get a handle on how your children are using media.

Kids are certainly getting their fill of texting, online games, social media and YouTube videos. The average 8-year-old now spends almost 8 hours a day on screens of various sizes.  Make that 11 hours for teenagers.

But a new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics warns too much screen time can “contribute substantially to many risks and health problems” ranging from disrupted sleep to substance abuse to weight increase. Continue reading