A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester, New York

Max Stossel, Youth & Education Advisor for the Center for Humane Technology, Leads Student and Family Discussions on the Impact of Social Media 

Max Stossel, Youth & Education Advisor for the Center for Humane Technology (CHT), recently led a presentation on social media use with the Director of Health and Wellness for students in Grades 6 through 12. He discussed some of the specific ways technology is designed to be addictive and distracting and provided tools and tips for combating these designs. After the presentation, there was a thoughtful discussion driven by the students’ curiosity and questions about the impact of social media and mobile devices on our lives.

The conversation covered ways to create healthier tech use now and in the future, including being aware of our intentions using technology, evaluating the nuances of engaging via virtual platforms, and being informed about alternatives to social media. Middle School students continued the conversation in SEEK and Study Skills and Upper School students in advisory. Families were also encouraged to talk about the topic at home, guided by questions provided by division principals. Prior to meeting with the students, Mr. Stossel led a discussion for parents/guardians entitled Social Media and Your Kids during which he shared tools and resources for managing the impact of social media, and how parents and guardians can be models of healthy technology use.

Many thanks to Mr. Stossel for this informative and thought-provoking discussion!

Top tips for making more meaningful use of tech

  • Reframe “Do I like this app?” and ask “How does this app make me feel after using it?”
  • Move your conversations off social media and into texts (where companies are less likely to be collecting data).
  • Turn off autoplay on YouTube, Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, and other video streaming services.
  • Use a physical alarm clock (so you are not going to bed with your phone!).
  • Study and focus with your phone outside the room. Research shows that simply having the phone nearby reduces concentration significantly.
  • Turn off all notifications except from human beings (notifications appear in red to grab our attention and sound our bodies’ fight-or-flight response).



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