The risks of our increasing reliance on technology are becoming more apparent each day. It’s becoming more common to know how to identify the signs of technology addiction in a teen–but many parents still struggle to keep up.
But what if we couldn’t turn the issue into the solution? People are proposing we use technology to help instead of pushing it away out of fear. But how do we even begin to do that?

Designing technology to help mental health

On this blog, we frequently discuss the downsides and the potential negative effects of technology use–but that doesn’t mean that technology doesn’t hold the key to solving the problem.
signs of technology addictionThe problems arising with technology aren’t the fault of our young generation, it’s the fault of the devices themselves. They’re designed in such a way as to always command your attention, never giving you a break. Getting users to use your app or device more equals more profit–thus they’re created to distract you and keep your focus on them.
In a recent article by The Guardian, Rohan Gunatillake–expert in mindfulness meditation–sought to explain how technology can transform to improve our mental health instead of dismantling it.
Gunatillake makes mindfulness meditation apps, but quickly realized when he began that the apps he’s creating aren’t ever going to reach the level that Snapchat or Facebook have reached in a million years. Which is why he believes that the only way to stop how technology and social media are negatively impacting us is not to create an app to combat them, but to change the core of those things themselves.
Mental health needs to be taken into consideration when designing new products, apps, and platforms. Now, you may be thinking, “We’re a long way off from that, it’s not going to happen for a very long time.” I’m here to tell you that it’s already beginning–it just needs more nudging in the right direction.

Using tech to fight signs of technology addiction & mental health issues

The first example that comes to mind is Facebook. The social media platform added a feature to Facebook Live and Messenger that is geared towards suicide prevention. For example, let’s say you’re watching your friend on a live feed and they say something that worries you–you now have the option to reach out to the person with resources to support and help them.
This is a small example, but it’s a very significant step in the right direction. Now there needs to be more steps forward. Designing apps and systems to notice the signs of technology addiction and other mental health issues could not only stop problems before they begin, it could save lives.   

blueFire Wilderness is here for your family

blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens. We help troubled teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with signs of technology addiction, depression, ADHD, addiction, defiance, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed. We believe that through a balance of self-assessment, insight oriented therapy, outdoor living, adventure activities and academic focus these teens will find their true selves. We provide a supportive opportunity for parents and children to reconnect and strengthen their relationship.
We understand that signs of technology addiction can cause issues for the whole family, but we’re here to guide your family towards a healthier path for your child.
For more information about how we treat signs of technology addiction at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.

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