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Thoughts on the Effects of Technology

Reviewed by Kimberly Cabe, FNP-BC of Forum Health Clarkston

Zombies, Phones and Gaming Systems

I forgot. I was too tired. I didn’t hear you…

I’ve heard these statements 100 times in one day. When my son doesn’t feed the dog, forgets to unload the dishwasher, or stays up too late, there are two technology culprits at play: his iPhone or his PlayStation. Both have proven to wreak havoc on his brain and everyday life. After long bouts on any form of technology, we see the side effects. He’s forgetful, slow, and has a hard time concentrating. That’s a problem, which has led us to make simple compromises that make everyone happy and improve his health at the same time.

Where is your phone while you sleep?

I noticed that my son seemed to be very zombie-like on certain days. With just a little observation, I found out why. Most people sleep next to their phones because they fear being unreachable. This leads to sleep interruption and disruption, which is very dangerous. Aside from proper nutrition, sleep plays a vital role in our health. Why? I could list a million reasons, but the biggest one is that your body and mind need to rest for a minimum of eight hours straight. When you’re tired, you can’t function, let alone think. Even worse, without sleep, you are putting your body at risk for diabetes, heart failure, or even a stroke. In my home, we have a “technology cut-OFF” time, and we all keep phones out of our bedrooms at night. 

Earning ‘technology time’

Another thing I noticed about my son was that after prolonged times on his phone and gaming system, he became quite sluggish and lazy. This is when we decided to make our home a more active place. I know you might not want to hear this, but even doing the dishes can be a form of exercise. You’re on your feet, moving up and down and side to side—you’re moving! Make a deal to create healthy habits: chores earn technology time. The whole family can do this! For example, work in the yard for a half an hour and reward yourself by sitting on your gaming system or phone for a half an hour. The more active you are, the more time you earn. Just make sure the earned time doesn’t cut into your sleep time. That would be very counterproductive.


Would you like to learn more about growing up in health? Forum Health is here to help! Give us a call and find out how we can help the whole family get on the right track to healthy success!