Manage Screen Time
Adolescents and teens live in a much different environment than what their parents grew up in. When the pressures of schoolwork, peers, drugs, alcohol, or anything else become too much it is so easy to fall into some kind of escape today. Whether that escape is video games, chat rooms, social media, virtual reality or just watching television- the opportunity and lure of screen based escape is something unique to this generation. Our clinically based approach to computer addiction treatment provides a reset opportunity and practical guidance on managing screen time and electronics use responsibly.
What has not changed is that kids today still depend on their parents to successfully guide them to adulthood. As parents, our kids are counting on us to ensure we show them the path to independence and success. When students head out the door for college or independent living, the opportunity to intervene has passed. Because Summerland Camps are based on University campuses, we have the idea setting for campers learn and practice self-regulation skills.
If your child left for college today, would they be able to successfully handle the long periods of free time without being consumed by screen based activities?
Unfortunately, outpatient therapy has little effect if a client does not want to change. For proper computer addiction treatment, it takes an intervention, or what we call a, “technology detox” to reset a campers daily routine. Once or even twice a week therapy is just not enough time to produce significant changes.
Social Media and Computer Addiction Treatment
Time Spent Consuming Media
According to Nielson, the average American devotes about 10 hours and 39 minutes each day to consuming media – 65% of awake hours.
Smart Phone Ownership
81% of us use a smart phone – most for over an hour and a half per day.
The clinical approach for social media users differs from that of gamers to a certain extent. We look at the need social media was filling in the campers life and address underlying issues in individual therapy.
There is a clinical benefit to reviewing social media posts with the camper. We discuss personal boundaries, appropriate Internet use, and what objective they may be trying to achieve by making certain types of posts or comments. We discuss with the camper if an account can be salvaged or if it needs to be scrapped.
Internet Overuse and Computer Addiction Treatment
Other campers we work with have interests including YouTube and Reddit, where the attraction might be simply entertainment with little or no social interaction. We help these campers develop other interests offline, and work with them to understand the consequences of excessive screen activity.
Goal setting is critical for the computer addiction treatment process to work effectively. Most parents have tried limit setting, punishment, scolding, and it hasn’t worked. At Summerland Camps we meet the child where they are and create positive goals to work on together. Camper soon learn that meeting their life goals and endless hours of computer browsing are not compatible.
Handheld Devices and Computer Addiction Treatment
Many campers we work with have an issue with inappropriate use of or excessive use of an iPhone, iPod, Android, or similar handheld device. This can be particularly troublesome as many schools today support and even require students to access handheld devices as a reference tool in class.
As part of the computer addiction treatment process, we also teach our campers how to set up appropriate limits with handheld devices so that there will be no temptation to abuse their devices in class. If your child has been in trouble for inappropriate device or Internet use in school, we can help!