Contributed by Head of Middle School Renée C. Price, pictured above next to image of Max Stossel
Max Stossel, Head of Education at the Center for Humane Technology, spoke with Middle School students this morning on the role of technology in their lives. His group produced the hit Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. You may have heard Stossel recently at the Princeton Common Ground presentation for parents last week, and many PDS teachers attended a session especially for educators on the topic of technology and adolescents.
Stossel explained to students the ways social media companies use them to increase usage and engagement with their apps. He elaborated on the impact social media can have on mood, and he used concrete examples to demonstrate how companies seek to ask of children, “How do I grab and hold as much of your time as possible?” He said that social media can be a distraction that prevents us from feeling the full range of emotions that are a normal part of the human experience because as soon as we begin to feel depressed, lonely or confused, we pull out our phones and scroll, scroll, scroll.
Among his practical suggestions for students:
- have a group of friends try deleting an app from your phones together to see how you feel
- delete auto-play on YouTube
- sleep and do homework with phones outside of the room
- work to get 8 hugs for 8 seconds every day
Grade level deans moderated the panel to help reinforce the message that this is all a learning process, and students enjoyed an excellent question and answer component as well. We look forward to continuing the conversation in Middle School advisory and beyond.