Concern about addiction to video games, social media or smartphones seems everywhere at the moment, with a growing noise
Dr Richard Graham is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and former Clinical Director of the Adolescent Directorate at the Tavistock Clinic. Over the last decade, his work has centred on the impact of technology on development and health. In 2009, he contributed to the development of the award-winning online mental health platform Big White Wall (www.bigwhitewall.com) and continues to work there as Clinical Director and in 2010 he launched the UK's first Technology Addiction Service for young people at Nightingale Hospital in London. In June 2016, he was appointed the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS is the British Government’s principal advisory body for online safety and security for children and young people) and Co-Chairs the Digital Resilience Working Group. Most recently, he was appointed as Clinical Lead to the Good Thinking: The London Digital Mental Well-being Service (https://www.healthylondon.org/our-work/mental-health/good-thinking-digital-wellbeing/).
The intensity of this response is unlikely to support good judgement, but instead a demand for the release and satisfaction that only a mob affords. If we continue to pursue a business model in the media where only the extreme and outrageous stories are worthy of a click, one wonders what the future holds.
23/11/2016 13:41 GMT
Of course wearables can be really helpful when we are flagging, but they are there to serve, not replace what you want to achieve. And when we do something with the technology, it can make a huge difference. Think of the pleasure people get from vinyl records again, and lifting the arm onto the record, compared with a streamed playlist on your phone; it becomes an event.
15/11/2016 13:05 GMT
The holiday time with family, partners or friends over Christmas is disrupted by exciting new technologies to the fold. With this comes the likelihood that a new device or game will draw time and attention away from shared activities, and foster solitary interactions with the device.
07/01/2016 16:31 GMT
Young people left to their own devices are unlikely to develop greater resilience and understanding without some opportunity to share their experiences with adults. But what can we say when they want to discuss some of the more disturbing events that they discover, not just 'on the internet', but in the offline world that we all inhabit?
25/09/2015 12:27 BST
Data concerning our daily use of Smartphones comes thick and fast, each survey suggesting even greater use than before. The recent report from Deloitte on the use of the Smartphone contained staggering statistics. F
15/09/2015 10:56 BST
In Estonia, there is a very present question of whether the post-occupation investment in new technologies is now starting to create difficulties. This is possibly a question that will recur in other fast-growth countries planning for a substantial digital future.
17/06/2015 14:49 BST
The agitation and restlessness that can follow switching a smartphone off, which is punishing to witness, does look very similar to withdrawal symptoms as the individual struggles with the disconnection from 'the stream'.
22/05/2015 17:03 BST
Like many, I had understood that trolling, and its later forms was driven by a process of disinhibition. When individuals feel they are anonymous or invisible, they start to act as if concern for others or guilt were no longer a problem...
29/04/2015 19:11 BST
Many of us are already haunted by results from health trackers, and Google Search, when we cannot make sense of the results, and possibly, neither can our doctor
05/03/2015 13:49 GMT
Yet managing risks for adolescents is hardly a new state of affairs. Anna Freud noted that it was very difficult for us to help teenagers, partly because of our wish to forget our own painful embarrassments that are an inevitable part of those years.
10/02/2015 11:14 GMT
Awareness should be a prelude not just to consideration, but engagement, and later at to thoughts of action. In that sense, technology should remain a tool with which we make not just our lives better but ourselves better.
23/01/2015 17:28 GMT
The digital detox, for as long as it can be tolerated (nerves of steel required), always improves the amount and apparent quality of sleep - even for those who do not believe themselves to be addicted.
14/01/2015 08:45 GMT
The personification of data is growing. There have been many developments in 2014 in terms of how young people learn about their world and discover themselves. Firstly, they listen to each other, even in those often feared anonymous forums, where honesty and self-expression seem possible away from the cruelly exposing tools of hackers.
24/12/2014 04:37 GMT
When Twitter's CFO, Anthony Noto's tweeting gaffe signalled Twitter's interest in the Justin Bieber backed selfie app Shots, he demonstrated just how economically important the selfie is as a marker of cultural change in the digital era.
03/12/2014 15:02 GMT
If we are to enable young people in their wishes to support each other, or intervene when witnessing aggressive behaviour online, as they would if concerned in the street, we must evaluate and report appropriately online risks, and not paralyse them with nameless terrors that are not typical.
26/11/2014 13:18 GMT
It also goes straight to the heart of the debates concerning privacy and surveillance in the digital age, and the risks that future digital services do not promote self-management, but, at best, foster an intrusive nannying that does not improve well-being.
04/11/2014 09:47 GMT
One of the most interesting observations of life in the digital world was made recently by young people participating in an excellent youth-led inquiry into cyberbullying. They highlighted the difficulties of emerging from the anonymity afforded them on children's sites to complete transparency on social media in the teenage years, interacting under their own name.
24/10/2014 15:45 BST
Despite the rising fears of digital footprints, I also have doubts about erasing the past. These fears are not driven by the Orwellian angst that 'He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past', but from uncertainties regarding how this will affect our identities.
17/10/2014 12:01 BST
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