There are many advantages to how schools like PLC successfully integrate information and learning technologies across the curriculum.  Our girls have access to the latest technology, hardware and software, and are able to use this to enhance and transform their learning.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

We have the power to access unlimited information at our fingertips, but we need to be responsible with how we evaluate and use that information.  We have the power to influence local and global perceptions of ourselves and others, but have an ethical responsibility to do this in a fair and respectful manner. We have the power to focus on our screens all hours of the day and night, but need to be responsible for our own health and wellbeing.

What The Data Tells Us

According to the 2019 Happiness Report, “the large amount of time adolescents spend interacting with electronic devices [in their leisure time] may have direct links to unhappiness and/or may have displaced time once spent on more beneficial activities, leading to declines in happiness.”  Reasons for this can be seen as three-fold: device use at night impacting on sleep, device use replacing face-to-face contact and physical activities, and the role of social media.

There have been, and continue to be, many studies into the impact of night screen-time on sleep.  In a 2017 study , Brian Primack and associates from the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh, found that social media activity during the last 30 minutes before bed was the strongest indicator of a poor night’s sleep among young adults.  Factors mainly point towards the blue light emitted from screens, which inhibits melatonin levels, temptation to interact with social media through the night, and increasing anxiety throughout the day based on accumulated time on social media (Hogenboom, 2018). This can result in a vicious cycle: anxiety leading to poor sleep, and reduced sleep leading to increased anxiety. 

It’s Not All Bad News

It’s not all bad news. Dr Bridianne O’Dea, research fellow at the Black Dog Institute, has several recommendations for using social media to boost your mental health or reduce negative impacts.  These are centred around taking responsibility for the quality and quantity of your social media usage, such as using apps to set boundaries and monitor usage, working out how technology works best for your relationships, and limiting phone use at night-time. Read the full list of the recommendations. 

PLC Lighthouse Community Conversations: Technology and Mental Health

A guest speaker from youth mental health organisation, Headspace, will be presenting a free parent/guardian and student information session on Wednesday 11 September in the Lighthouse. Find out more and book your place here 

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