While some apps and technologies do seem to
have addictive properties, it’s important not to
blanket-blame all of them, or vilify all developers
who create compelling experiences for teens.
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impact on their lives. Andreen’s documentary offers parents ways
to better understand how their kids are using this technology, and
how they can go about regulating it or at least communicating
From her own experience with two teenage daughters, Andreen
says that when taking some tech time away, the important thing is
to replace it with a better option. “I wanted to explore the conversation
around screens and how challenging it is for parents to deal
with their kids on this. Think about what you can add that creates
balance in your life. What happens is, when you add something
positive, negative thing starts to dissipate,” she says.
As an example, Andreen suggests replacing some of the technology
time with a fun activity like a hike or a family kayaking trip.
To further explore questions of teen anxiety in the modern
world, Andreen plans to release two more documentaries, titled
“Angst” and “Like,” in the coming months.
LOOKING AT THE IMP ACT
“Sometimes I think about the internet with kids in the same way
my parents spoke about television when we were growing up,” Dr.
Genovese recalls. “They’d say, ‘You’ve been in front of that TV all
day!’ But are smartphones keeping kids from doing their homework
or being socially engaged?” The content, he speculates, might
have a positive impact, such as providing educational experiences.
B.J. Fogg has a similar view. As a doctoral student at Stanford in
the 1990s, Fogg was the first scientist to do experiments showing