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11.18.2015

Battling Addiction: The Age of Multiple Devices

In this new age of the smart phone, tablets, laptops, desktops, smart TVs  and many other devices, we are all guilty of spending perhaps way too much time on them. I know I use my devices for everything under the sun, from planing dinner, organizing the family calendar, checking emails, shopping, and keeping up with my social media families. But when I watch my twelve year old son on his devices, I get concerned that he's wasting his life away and may be developing an unhealthy addiction.

I recently watched this video on addiction and it helped me to look at it from a different perspective. I've always believed when we are addicted to bad habits, the way to stop is to replace it with a good habit. Stopping anything cold turkey doesn't work for most of us. That's why when people quit smoking for example, most times they go back to it because they never replaced it with something else. Their mind is always thinking about that cigarette they can't have and so they eventually trick themselves to believe that it is an addiction they can control and if they have only one once in a while they'll be fine. But sooner or later they end back to smoking regularly. I know this because I used to be a smoker.

I really enjoyed smoking too. I would plan my cigarettes out; whether I was at work, in my car, drinking coffee or a glass of wine. How did I quit? With out even realizing it at the time, I had replaced smoking with working out. Exercising has become my focus and it just didn't fit my lifestyle anymore. My days of sitting in smoky coffee houses in the city were no longer the norm. Spending time with my son, like taking him to the park or on play dates were the regular and I most definitely did not want him to expose him to smoking.

This video made by Kurzgesagt, ( German for, in a nut shell) shows a creative depiction of why we form addictions and possible ways to end them. In the video, they discuss that we need to have human connection and to not place ourselves in isolated cages. Especially dealing with hi tech devices, it's easy to form an invisible border around ourselves.






My husband and I realize that we are becoming the parents that practice, do as I say, not as I do. That creates so many problems when you have a child who apparently thinks we are equals and wants to question why we get to do it but he doesn't. I look back at my childhood and sure, we were distracted with TV and video games, and I know some had strong addictions to those things, but it's different now. There are devices that stay home but there are way too many devices that you can take with you on the road which can be dangerous. On top of it, when they do spend time with friends, they're all on devices together.There's never a moment for them to separate themselves from their digital worlds.

What we need are more family game nights. More walks in nature. Basically, more time together. Sounds easy, but really, how many of us do it? We want to implement healthy habits in our kids now, so that they don't create bad ones later.

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