Is Your Attention Hijacked?
We are so excited to introduce and highlight one of our collaborative authors this week, Erica Marcus. Erica brings her mindfulness and education expertise, in addition to her specialized work in mindfulness and technology to Kind Mind. Erica is a contributing author in our curricula lessons with a specific approach to building awareness around the impacts of technology.
Wahoo! What an exciting month! My book, Attention Hijacked: Using Mindfulness to Reclaim Your Brain from Tech, was released on May 3! While this book is geared towards older users (6th-12th grade) and the adults around them, it’s never too early for us to think about how our tech use aligns with our values and how we are modeling that for our children. It's also helpful for younger kiddos start noticing the impact of their tech use on their own minds and bodies from the time they first start watching shows or touching an iPad!
As the mother of two young children (2 and 5) who works with school-aged students, I have the opportunity to think about this at all stages. As adults, we can start supporting our kids by being aware of our own tech use and how it impacts us. We can model noticing tech use choices and even "mistakes" out loud for them. For example, “I am going to put my phone in the other room because when it is out here, I notice it distracts me from our play!
Even young children can be taught about their tech use and how to notice the impact. With your support and guidance, this checking process can help them make healthier choices. Start encouraging the young people in your life to notice how screen use impacts them. You might notice out loud, "It seems like you are a bit spacey after watching that show for so long. Is that true? Maybe next time we will set the timer for a little less time."
This week, try a before and after technology check-in for you and your kiddos.
How do my mind and body feel as I am about to sit down and use my screen? (Anticipatory? Anxious? Wiggly? Joyful?)
How do my mind and body feel after I am done with my screen use?
For our kiddos, we might notice with them. “It seemed like you are really jazzed up after playing the video game today!”
Inviting ourselves and our children to get more clear on the impact of our tech use can help guide our choices moving forward.