Smart devices, they’re our little digital companions, but we’ve become so connected to them, we’re starting to see a disconnection from our friends and family members.
“When we miss that one-on-one face-to-face human interaction, we isolate ourselves socially”, says Patrice Whistler M.D. a pediatrician for Western Slope Pediatricians Association.
“A lot of recent research is showing that increased in social media use has also lead to an increase in major depression, anxiety, sleep disorders”, says Stephanie Bailey a behavioral integrated health clinician for Behavioral Health & Wellness.
With millions of free-to-play games on the app marketplaces, movies, TV shows, social media. It’s overwhelming with how much there is to experience.
“We see social isolation, less activity with friends, more withdrawing into their local environment. Maybe that’s their bedroom instead of the living room with the rest of their family”, says Whistler.
This digital disconnection from the world around us can cause various complications, research shows.
“We have a parenting website called healtyhchildren.org which has access to anybody that wants to go to it. And if you put in Family Media Plan in the search bar”, says Whistler.
But it’s not just for children, the Family Media Plan encourages adults to put their devices down as well.
“Try not to have the TV,the computer, the cell phone as your primary education. Get together, play on the floor, build blocks with Legos, read book, go outside and play. There may be times when you need to have Sesame Street on because you’ve gotta cook dinner. Make those times limited”, says Whistler.
You can find out more about the Family Media Plan at www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx.