In January, Portland Community Design Thinkers gathered to examine how mobile devices and apps are designed to hijack our attention in ways that are not aligned with users’ best interests but, rather, mainly with the interests of advertisers. In that session, we explored how “engagement,” the chief currency of Silicon Valley, has become inextricably linked with the hidden design practices that prioritize user time on platform above all other considerations.
Managing our own ability to ignore these digital distractions is difficult enough; but it becomes vastly more difficult when we must do so for our children as well, who are growing up in a world in which these device mediate nearly every aspect of their social, psychological (and, increasingly, their educational) lives. How do parents and families take back control of their homes -- and their children's futures -- from the Silicon Valley tech giants whose primary concern is maximizing "time on platform" and delivering users' eyeballs to advertisers? There is so much at stake. Cyber bullying, inappropriate texts, social anxiety, depression, ubiquitous porn, and screen addictions are just a few of the issues that might affect our children.
There are certainly benefits to using mobile devices. But how can parents and young children assure they remain the masters of these devices rather than servants to them? How do parents assure they are leading by example to create tech-healthy families?
On May 21, we'll reconvene to consider just these questions. We'll be joined by two Portland subject matter experts, both of whom provide counseling, workshops and proven strategies for parents to help children manage screen time and find balance in the digital age.
Richard Halpern is a Portland-based Parent Educator and Counselor, and the founder of Coach4Parents, providing workshops and parenting strategy sessions to help manage screen time, and to reduce screen dependence, for kids of all ages.
Andrea Davis and her husband, Tyler, are the parents of five kids. Together, they've created BetterScreenTime, a resource for any parent who believes screen time can be a positive experience and who wants to prepare their children for that privilege in the best way possible. It’s for the parent who knows screen time will never be perfect, but believes it can be better.
Join us on May 21 for an interactive discussion. As always, we'll have food and drink on hand from our sponsor, LUMA Institute, some door prize giveaways, and some networking and socializing time prior to and after the presentation.