How We Can Best Support Young People This Semester
In this unprecedented time of uncertainty and the need for tech to maintain human interactions, tech-life balance is going to be more difficult. What we’ve heard from youth is that they want the research, but they don’t want to be told what to do with their digital lives. They want to be asked. As educators and family members, discussing the role of technology in our own lives is a great place to start. When we share our pain points whether Zoom Fatigue, the addictive lure of following news stories on Twitter or missing the in-person social gatherings, it becomes a community struggle during this Pandemic, rather than an adult telling a young person to “put their phone down.” Then we can ask Gen Z about their own digital lives, pain points, and ideas for solutions. Modeling Tech-Life Balance is always the greatest teacher. If you are an educator with distance learning this Fall, hosting wellness breaks during class supports both you and your students. Acknowledging Zoom Fatigue and scheduling 3-minute breaks that can include, a short meditation, a guided stand and stretch sequence, and a chance to jog in place, cameras on or off. For educators alternating online class time with offline tasks throughout the block schedules in Tech-Life Balance. Frequent Break Out sessions to discuss the material in smaller groups also helps break up the activity so students aren’t staring at the screen for long periods of time. Digital Detoxes are more difficult during the Pandemic, but short breaks from technology to get outside, go for a walk or bike ride, try a new hobby like gardening or cooking have been top-rated suggestions. It also keeps one engaged in the “real” world, socially distanced and with masks.