by Stephanie Partridge
Technology is the proverbial dual edged sword. On the one hand, it makes our lives so much easier by connecting us with information from a variety of places without requiring us to leave our homes. It connects us with people who are across the world and makes communication almost instantaneous. On the other hand, it separates us from other humans and we can easily find ourselves isolated from real life human contact. It can promote a sedentary lifestyle and even take the place of books. But there are hidden dangers to extended computer use that most parents aren't even aware of and it is impacting their own children and teenagers.
Recent statistics, coming from several different studies, show teens are spending anywhere from 11 hours a month online to 33 hours a month. Social networks have overtaken email by just a hair, while texting is a preferred mode of communication. Bottom line, teens are spending a lot of time on the computer and this concerns Dr. Jennifer Austin Leigh, or "Dr. Jenn."
Dr. Jenn is the founder and CEO of Honor the Gril LLC, an organization that is designed to teach compassionate parenting skills to mothers, enabling them to be more effective in raising their daughters. With a doctorate in psychology and mother of four, Dr. Jenn has a private practice in New York and has authored several books aimed at helping teen girls navigate the often confusing, scary waters of boys, relationships and growing up. Her website, http://www.parentingteengirls.com, offers practical, sound advice to both parents and teens. One of her greatest concerns is the amount of time teens are spending on the computer – and the impact that it is having on them.
"There are both good and bad found in the use of social networking sites, "says Dr. Jenn. "The harm I am most concerned about is the 'dehumanizing' of people and the negative effects that it seems to be having on face to face relationships."READ More on The Computer and the Teen Brain: Just What is the Impact?