Flu season is right around the corner.
Spend five minutes in any elementary or preschool, and you’ll hear a chorus of coughs, sneezes, and nose-blowing. Or worse.
We often give our kids vitamins—take them ourselves–to avoid these kinds of seasonal challenges. And vaccinations, immunizations, and frequent doctor visits help us (we hope) to avoid the avoidable.
- But how digitally well are we?
- How technologically healthy are we keeping ourselves–and our kids?
- How are we making sure that we’re connecting when we should—online and offline?
- How do we ensure that we are disconnecting when we should?
- What are the long-term effects of all of our inter-connectedness on our brains, on our bodies, on our beings?
I learned a ton this week at FOSI, the Family Online Safety Institute here in Washington, DC, and I am busting at the seams to share what I learned about digital wellness in particular.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Keeping Your Whole Family Tech-Healthy–Digital Wellness: It’s something I don’t always think about since my work is online.
I’m more often than not. . . connected. But when I heard that my smart and talented friend and bloggy buddy MaryLeawas taking November off—and most of December—I really stepped back and thought a bit.
I love writing. I love social media. And I love how ‘connected’ I am. But some days, I feel like my brain needs a break. Some days, I. Want. A. Break.
Do I want a break from work? Sure, we all do some days.
Do I want a break from laundry, cleaning, fits, and meetings? Yup.
Do I want a break from everyday drama and stress? Yes and yes.
But I want most right now is a break from technology–all forms: Wii, phone, tv, computer, iPad. Everything. But where we are–in 2012–in such a plugged-in time, I know makes it next to impossible to do so.
So the information I learned at FOSI this week was eye-opening and thought-provoking on many levels.
I see the value in technology in education. But I know that a lot has to change in order to use it to its fullest.
I know that we are living in a ‘digital age’ and that our children need to know how to live in this space safely. But I know that a lot has to change in order to get us there.
I believe that we are more connected than we need to be. So I wish that everyone would take a minute to look at Tiffany Shlain’s piece: ‘Brainpower: From Neurons to Networks’.
Does it provide us with all of the answers? No, not really.
But what I love about this piece is that it got me thinking–really thinking. What do YOU think about your digital health?
We do our best to keep our kids’ screen time to a reasonable time each week; our Game Time Cards are still up and running, and they’ve helped us tremend0usly.
But my goal for the New Year–and this holiday season especially–is to be more mindful of how digitally healthy our whole family is–all day, every day. I want to be more aware of my ‘on’ time and my ‘off” time–and perhaps my brain will thank me for it down the road.
Want to check out my Family Online Safety Institute Photos? Here they are:
More FOSI-related news for educators, parents, and families coming down the pike. I’m looking forward to sharing.
fyi: Many thanks to my friends at Location Labs, the makers of Safely mobile services, for sponsoring my time at FOSI this week and for asking for my ideas on digital wellness. I look forward to continuing the conversation–and I hope you do, too.