If you’ve watched documentaries like The Social Dilemma, in which tech experts discuss the negative effects of social media use on kids’ and teens’ mental health, you may feel that smartphones cause more harm than good when it comes to students’ productivity and overall wellbeing. However, while social media use has caused an increase in teen mental health issues, Gen Z still needs to be familiar with the tools necessary to thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.
How do you strike a healthy, age-appropriate balance between screen time, school work, and social activities? Are there ways that students can use their smartphones to improve their digital literacy, creativity, and ability to thrive in the digital world?
The answers to these questions can be found in the most recent research about digital literacy as it applies to students. There are also helpful resources for parents that explain what healthy screen time looks like for students and how to strike a healthy balance between promoting digital literacy while avoiding smartphone addiction.
The first step is understanding the digital literacy of the generation known as “digital natives” (i.e., those born after the widespread adoption of digital technology) as compared with that of their parents’ generation. The answer may be surprising.