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Too Connected?

At Intivix, we believe in the power of technology to improve daily life. The promise of technological improvement and innovation inspires us to get up every morning and do the work we do.

But, with power, comes responsibility, and we all have a role to play in helping our young people harness the force of technology for the betterment of our world.

It’s no secret that our society, and in particular our young people, are misusing technology and becoming addicted to digital media. Thus the impact of technology on society is resulting in the negative way.

The annually released World Happiness Report sponsored by the United Nations shows that Americans are unhappier than ever and experts point to the overdependence on digital media as one of the reasons.

In a of the report, Jean M. Twenge, author of “IGen,” says that “American adolescents are less happy, especially in the last decade, because of the change in the way they spend their free time.”

Teens who spend more time online, this report found, were more likely to be depressed. Those who are considered “heavy” internet users are twice as likely to be unhappy than “light’ users.

What’s even more dangerous about the overuse of technology is that it seems innocuous, especially when compared to other risky behaviors like drug or alcohol use.

Although the data is only correlational at this point – the writing is on the wall: the more time teens spend online, the unhappier they are.

As tech leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, and role models, we are uniquely positioned to show young people how to use technology healthily. (Albeit, some of us need a refresher, right?)

Cosette Rae, Alison Takenaka, Johnny Tock, and Gail Curran – members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association – have suggestions on how to talk to young people about their technology use.

For one, they recommend staying away from words like: “abuse,” “addiction,” and “rehab.” These are all technical terms used by professionals that teens tend to shy away from during a conversation.

Teens often understand their use is problematic, they explain, but either believe or hope that it will resolve itself on its own. This is made more complicated by the fact that most adults in their lives are also consumed by screens, emphasizing the importance of modeling healthy online behavior.

While the impact of digital media use is still not completely understood, we know one thing is for sure: we will try to be better. For ourselves and the next generation