I just set my phone down to write this post, but thankfully and notably, it’s well within arm’s reach. As a psychologist, therapist, and parent, I consider the following to be of great concern:There is research suggesting that using cell phones for only a half hour a day for ten years doubles one’s risk of brain cancer. The soreness in our fingers and wrists from texting too much is so prevalent that the term “text claw” has entered our lexicon. “Problematic Internet Use” (PIU) is now considered a behavioral addiction, with almost half (48 %) of participants in one study considered “Internet addicts.” In her remarkable book, Reclaiming Conversation (2015), MIT professor Sherry Turkle discusses research pointing to how a quarter of teens in the US are connected to a device within five minutes of waking up each morning, and that most teens send at least one hundred text messages per day. Most alarming to me is Turkle’s citing of another scientific finding: That over the past 20 years our society has seen a 40% decline (most of it occurring over the past decade) in indicators of empathy in people, and that researchers are linking this…
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Dr. Mitch Abblett is a clinical psychologist, author, consultant, and international speaker. Dr. Abblett's most recent publication is his book for parents, educators and helping professionals—Prizeworthy: How to Meaningfully Connect, Build Character, and Unlock the Potential of Every Child. Mitch's podcast, The Prize of Possibility, includes conversations with thought leaders and influencers regarding parenting, child and family issues, education, behavior change, professional growth and career development, peak performance, and leadership. A clinician in the Boston area for over 20 years, he brings a wealth of clinical, administrative and leadership experience from various settings (hospitals, outpatient clinics, residential facilities and therapeutic schools) to his practice and consulting. For 11 years he served as the Clinical Director of the Manville School at Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston—a Harvard Medical School-affiliated therapeutic school program for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and learning difficulties. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He lives with his wife and two young children in Newton, Massachusetts.