Dr. Rich Patterson

Depression & Kids – II

Recently I went to my medical doctor and he asked what I was doing now.  I told him that I talk with kids and families about topics that help them to answer questions about life.  He mentioned to me that his concern was the heavy use of technology by kids.  He said, we don’t know exactly what it may cause, but rest assured something will be discovered.  I found that interesting and looked into the topic.  What I found were many titles, Computer Use, Stress, and Depression Among Young AdultsWhy using a computer can cause depressionHeavy Technology Use Linked to Fatigue, Stress and Depression …Anxiety and depression linked to computer games and Excessive internet use linked to depression, research shows … to show just a few.  The links are live if you would like to click on them to read more from the various authors.

In a very short amount of time I saw myself spending too much time on the computer.  Oh, I had all kinds of reasons, trying to write articles, writing speeches, putting together various topics for my website.  All what seemed like good reasons, but still too much time.  We get hooked and find ourselves drawn to various aspects of technology reading, keeping up with friends, playing games, and all of it can be good, but it adds up to too much time in front of a screen.

With kids, and us adults too, too much time reading about others can cause us to compare ourselves to others too much.  When we compare ourselves we destroy the energy that makes us–well, us.  It cause us to feel like we need to imitate, can cause jealously, and certainly involves a great day of misinformation.  By limiting our time each day to things we really need to do and then stopping ourselves beyond that, we can begin to help kids get control of technology for themselves.

I started a policy of not checking my email until close to 12N each day unless I need to see if someone has canceled an appointment.  I have found that often, just doing that helps me not get side-tracked to other links and then before you know it you’ve spend 45 minutes doing something that has lead to basically nothing.

I encourage you to help you kids get control of their usage by planning their time checking their phones, playing games, and being on the computer.  Summer is a great time to begin this because for the most part the kids are home and you are there with them more often.  Sit down together and make a plan for adults and kids alike to use technology more sparingly.  You might ask, well, how else can we find that out?  By asking good questions such as this, you will discover our sources for information that serve just as well and maybe better, after all, they will likely involve a live person.

Enjoy your family,

Rich