The younger generation is growing up in an environment saturated with digital experiences. The latest news on Facebook and Instagram can be an instant conversation starter, and phone calls have taken a backseat to texts.
Communication on the internet is hacking away at the importance and relevance of authentic offline conversations, yet it is essential that teens be comfortable and well-versed in real-life interactions within our digitally-charged society.
What many teens need is a barometer of their dependence on technology. That’s where this digital detox quiz comes in handy. A movement in favor of distancing ourselves from technology is growing in response to the burgeoning virtual world. Simply contemplating a forced separation from our smartphones can bring about anxiety for the best of us, but taking the time to assess how technology impacts our lives can be therapeutic – even if it begins as one night per week without a phone or computer.
Although a text or tweet can go unread in the deluge of other messages, and Snapchats self-implode after their timer runs out, the effects on those using social media aren’t as ephemeral. All of us – especially teens – have an urge to stay digitally connected, keeping our smartphones within reach at all times.
This habit can turn into an unfortunate source of stress; fear-of-missing-out from social networks and texts affects millions. However, the true “missing out” is happening right now, in the physical realm. With long lives and bright futures ahead, teens should have a lot invested in their digital equilibrium.
Contributor: Mike Miles is the Director of Social Media at SmartSign, a New York City-based company, and founder of #TakeNoBullies, an anti-cyberbullying and digital citizenship initiative for teens and schools.