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Cyberbalance in a Digital Culture

Finding and maintaining a healthy cyberbalance is a challenge in a connected culture where virtually we can go anywhere, see anyone, and do anything at the touch of a screen. Technology does not have to distract us. Device settings, reminders and apps can help us enhance our relationships, improve our health and wellbeing, and be more productive.

Three Steps for Yourself

Step 1. Be aware of how you use your time and how long you are using technology. Consider using technology to help you do this; for example, the “Moment” app tracks the amount of time you spend on your phone each day. Others to consider: RescueTime, Tomato Timer.

Step 2. Reflect on your own behavior and consider your goals and priorities. Let your children see you working on balance in your own life.

Step 3. Devise a personal device plan that focuses your time and energy on your priority tasks and goals. Consider setting an example for having a no-screen zone in your own bedroom.

Top Ten Digital Parenting Hacks

  1. Overcome hesitation or uncertainty and engage in digital parenting.
  2. Monitor and be aware of the amount of time spent with digital devices. Technology helps can assist you; for example, ”Moment Family” app will track your family’s cell phone use and set up time for your family to be screen-free during dinner.
  3. Turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime.
  4. Charge mobile devices away from the bedroom to prevent interruptions in sleep.
  5. Enjoy media-free meals where the emphasis is focused on building strong family relationships.
  6. Encourage your child to develop the habit of completing important tasks like homework or exercise, before engaging in social media, mobile device conversations, or games.
  7. Address obsessive and addictive behaviors, for example, checking your phone without knowing why or having an express purpose. (According to the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of cellphone owners find themselves checking messages, alerts or calls even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.)
  8. Identify a list of device-free activities your child enjoys. Brainstorm with them new activities or interests they might pursue.
  9. Foster healthy face-to-face relationships, and help them learn how to manage strong emotions when using devices.
  10. Provide a varied diet of experiences in order to support overall social, emotional, and physical well-being.

Cyberbalance in a Digital Culture revealed significant cyberbalance challenges as well as encouraging opportunities.

Dependence on technology is growing, and many are unsure if they have achieved a balance between on and offline activities.

Download resources and practical tips to teach and achieve a healthy cyberbalance.

Made possible in part through a generous grant from AT&T.

Balance Curriculum Matrix K-12

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