Thriving in the digital age
Psychology Week is an annual initiative of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) that aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help Australians lead healthier, happier and more meaningful lives.
In 2017, the APS is continuing the Compass for Life campaign, to help Australians improve their happiness and wellbeing by promoting ways to thrive.
This year the focus is thriving in the digital age.
Mobile phone use is becoming increasingly pervasive in our lives and in the lives of our young people with 91% of Australians between 14 and 17 years owning a mobile phone. There is potential for Problematic Mobile phone Use (PMU) with the potential for behavioural addiction and the concern of this impact on the user's mental health. (Meagher, 2017).
The heavy reliance on mobile devices is stated as being responsible for a shift in how we regulate emotions and from this a decreased ability to tolerate uncertainty. An example of this is that with mobile phones we can easily contact other people to obtain reassurance when facing a worrying situation instead of learning to cope with it ourselves, thus building resilience and self-reliance. People feel they cannot cope unless they have their phone with them. Find out more about helping your child to manage this uncertainty by clicking here.
There are two useful APS tip sheets for teens attached below that have been provided to the girls so that they have access to information to help them thrive in the digital age.
I would strongly recommend that you have a discussion with your daughter about these tips. We need to help the girls maximise the benefits of these technologies while minimising possible negative impacts on their wellbeing.
APS tips sheets
1. Technology is positive for many people but it can be bad for your mental health, stress you out or make you feel disconnected from others. Psychologists, who are experts in the mind and emotions, recommend these tips to help you live a healthy life online.
2. Avoid the pitfalls of excess social media use with these eight tips from psychologists about making the most of life online.
For further information, visit the Compass for Life website or contact Liz Cannon, Director of Counselling .