Get Unplugged and Connect

The other day I took my kids sledding with a handful of friends. We had an epic snowball fight. It was truly blissful, just to watch these kids run until their cheeks flushed as pink as apples, and listen to their laughter rise up to the clouds. These are the moments we’ll remember:  the moments that combine friends, fellowship, nature, and being completely immersed in the moment.

I am watching more and more kids opt for screens over friends these days, over playing outside, over socializing face-to-face. My son is five years old. He has phones, iPads, video games, a Leapfrog, laptops and televisions at his disposal at almost any given time. It’s scary to think how plugged-in his life could be. And that is not the life I want for him. I don’t want him to be plugged-in.

I think, what a lot of people still don’t comprehend, or deny, is that screen time, no matter how beneficial, social, or educational it is, is highly ADDICTIVE. It stimulates chemicals in ours brains. It can actually change our brain composition. There is a reason why rehab is offered to gaming addicts. Kids play games, watch TV, and message each other and it stimulates the same parts of their brains as pulling a slot machine. They don’t know how to turn it off–they don’t want to turn it off, because they like the sensation. You can’t blame them. It’s entertaining.

It’s up to us to moderate their use (and our own use) of these technologies. Let’s get some dialogue going about this very serious movement in our lifestyle and culture. Let’s moderate our use of technology before it’s too late. Let’s get unplugged so we can connect.

(P.S., yes this is my inner Justin speaking out–he will always be in the back of my mind)

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About katiekaz

I write young adult fiction. My debut novel was the dystopian science fiction novel, AWAKEN. My second novel is teen realistic fiction, titled FIRST COMES LOVE. The sequel to AWAKEN, MIDDLE GROUND, is coming out on Novmeber 20th, 2012. I also wrote a sequel to FIRST COMES LOVE, titled SECOND CHANCE. More news on the release date coming soon. Thanks for stopping by.
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4 Responses to Get Unplugged and Connect

  1. Monteen Nash says:

    Thank you for your heart-felt and timely comments. I just had this conversation with my 14 year old yesterday. I pointed out to her that she and her best friend would rather text or Instagram about their lives than have an actual conversation. When they’re together, the talking is minimal, and you guessed it, they still are checking their electronic devices to see how many “likes” or comments they’re getting on Instagram. I have tried to limit the amount of devices and social media available to my kids, and the amount of time they can be on them. However, one is able to control her usage, and the younger one has an almost obsessive compulsion to check them and use them. I truly worry for the future of our youth if they don’t learn to unplug and connect with one another face-to-face. It’s one of the main reasons I loved your Awaken book series, and I’m 55 years old! Keep up the great work, and keep encouraging kids everywhere to keep technology in a proper perspective!

    • katiekaz says:

      Thanks for the comment. I would love to hear stories/ideas from teenagers, or parents of teenagers, about ways they get unplugged and socialize face-to-face.

  2. Monteen Nash says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

  3. Kelly says:

    Hey katie
    I would really like to read a forth book😬
    About maddie and justin after like 5 or 10 years, after college, getting together and getting married, both living a middle ground, i think justin deserve that!! Lol!! Love your books! God bless u!

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