Some of us might remember a time before the Internet and the world wide web took the world by storm. Goodbye dial-up, hello Siri! Any advancement in technology brings along a myriad of positive and negative effects, and technology has most certainly propelled us to new frontiers. It’s pretty amazing the power within each and every one of our cell phones; the ability to communicate with family, friends, and even strangers at any time of the day, to order food to be delivered to your front door, and most convenient, to have all of life’s answers right at your fingertips (so long as you’re asking the right questions, of course). Indeed, technology is truly amazing!
Nonetheless, there remain many unknowns about the long term effects of technology and screen time on human development and behavior. Research on screen time has revealed connections to obesity, academic success, as well as psychological and behavioral problems. At present, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any screen time for children under 2 years of age. And it’s not just children we ought to be concerned about. Screens and the content they contain can be highly addictive for adults and children alike, and our ability to connect whenever and just about wherever can make it challenging to be aware and in tune with our surroundings and live in the present moment.
Yet there is hope! Whether you’re happily snapping your every move or tormenting yourself by reading work emails after hours, all of us can benefit from a moment’s reflection on our relationship with technology and its place in our lives.
Need a little motivation? The San Mateo County Libraries have got your back! Of course, the library is always a great place to visit if you wish to unplug, but we’ll be encouraging you all the more with our celebration of Ditch Your Device Week, May 1st-7th! To start, we invite participants of all ages to track their device-free activities throughout the week in your Ditch Your Device Week log, which you can pick up at one of our 12 branches. Turn in your log at the end of the week for a chance to win one of four, awesome raffle prizes: Deluxe art kit, Duplo Lego set, ukulele, or mini cruiser skateboard!
Looking for inspiration? Our branches will be hosting special, device-free programs throughout the Ditch Your Device Week and beyond! Be sure to check with your local branch for a full listing of events, and have fun!
For further reading on the relationship between technology and humans: