Your kids are digital natives, you may be digital immigrants. I love this language because it captures the framework of understanding that the digital world is a place that is understood with nuance and degrees of complexity that only come with being born into a digital world.
When we realize that kids are digital natives we realize that their desire to always be on their phones may not be inherently bad or evil. The chapter points out that the digital world is what holds kids social lives, and social media platforms may be places of connection similar to the lunch room or how kids once called each others houses on landlines.
There is a level of social connection that is healthy for all kids, who are constantly asking themselves the question of "who am I", which is on repeat in their minds constantly. (Whether they recognize it or not)
So the chapter gives some general rules:
Place healthy limits on screen time: not all screens are evil but too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing.
Doctors suggest 2 hours of screen time a day, and recommend having "screen free" zones and times. Such as bedrooms and meal times.
Other recommendations: the magic age is 13, and being intentional with your kids, possibly creating a digital covenant.
Personally, this chapter takes a more gracious stance than I sometimes feel for social media, but I understand where they are coming from. I appreciate the compromise here, recognizing that digital engagement CAN be good. Often however, without intentionality, we allow it to take over our emotional and social lives without even realizing it.
I wish this chapter would stress just a bit more about healthy boundaries and limits to maintain healthy relationships with digital engagements. The 2 hour recommendation by doctors is fascinating to me, my hunch is that is much lower than most adults engagement.
I know other parents who give their kids the choice for social media at 15 and even encourage them against it, at that stage many kids choose to stay off of social media rather than ready to jump off.
I encourage you to think about what may be healthy for your situation, and whatever you do. Have intentional conversations with your students.
Grace and Peace,