Technology in small doses for wellbeing

Last November we hosted our third Technology for Wellbeing Conference. For the closing segment there was a panel discussion with the theme “Is there a digital disconnect?”

During it one of the panel members told a brief anecdote about their elderly parents being very active on snapchat.

Youth Mental Health Ireland What is ParentsIt appeared a wonderful example of how technology can transcend generations.


Technology has good uses for everyone, young and old. However, there is also a need to disconnect and enter a world beyond smartphones, tablets, or laptops.

What’s important is the relationship you form with technology. Are you always on that smartphone? Are you able to take a little time away and perhaps have a conversation with your child or with a friend?

Tech breaks

These are something psychologist Larry Rosen highlighted in his book iDisorder. Rosen, a professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, stressed that the average computer programmer or medical student were not able to concentrate on a job for more than three minutes.

Yet, instead of taking a break from technology, you will be surprised to hear that Rosen’s solution was actually to embrace technology. So, go on. Use it.

But… for a short time after doing some work.


For adults, he had a few suggestions on best use of technology. If you work hard for ten minutes, you could reward yourself with one minute of e-mail time.

To add some incentive to your son’s or daughter’s studying, maybe a fifteen-minute video game, or time on social media as a reward would help, if they are finding it hard to knuckle down.

If your concerned about your son or daughter’s use of technology and think it’s too much, remember to look at your own as well. We can all pick these habits up from each other.

Switching off

There are also other things he suggests, can help you switch off. Going for a walk or a hike may be something that you would like to try rather than spending all the time in front of a device.

Or maybe just spend your tech breaks talking with your son or daughter. Either way, remember technology can be a good idea, it’s the relationship we have with it that we need to watch.

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