The Healthy and Unhealthy sides of Tech

First off, I have to say that two debates in one night is a lot for my brain to handle! All the teams did such a great job of debating and the discussions we had were so informative and thought-provoking it was almost overwhelming. Luckily Carter and I are in the same room while connected to zoom so we tend to bounce our thoughts off one another while processing all the information.

The topic for debate #2 was: Technology is making our kids unhealthy. Agree or Disagree?

The first thing that comes to my mind is childhood obesity rates and how most kids spend more time watching TV or playing video games than they do playing outside or being active. In this sense it is making kids unhealthy. But then I look at myself and how often I am checking my fitbit, and making a conscious effort to stay active throughout the day and if I didn’t have this piece of technology on my wrist, I likely wouldn’t be as active as I am. In this case, technology is helping me stay active. I consider myself to be a healthy and active person, and when I thought about it I realized that in almost every area I am using technology to assist with my goals. I use Pinterest for healthy recipes and My Fitness Pal to track food intake. As I mentioned, I use my FitBit daily and Map My Run when going out for run. The trouble I have with this debate is the distinction between kids and adults- I think adults are much more likely to use technology to assist in their health and fitness goals.

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This debate also takes on a whole new side when you consider the impact technology has on our mental and emotional health. Everytime this topic comes up I always think back to an article we read in another ECI class Split Image, about a young girl who committed suicide. If you haven’t read it check it out, it is a heartbreaking story but shows the darker side of social media and how things are not always as they seem. Kids and young people are so much more vulnerable to the pressures of social media. As Haiming mentions in her blog post, anxiety, insomnia, irritation, and mental disorders are all risks of young people using too much technology. But I think it is our job as teachers to educate students on a healthy use of technology, encourage them to unplug every once in awhile, and to remember social media is an edited version of people’s lives.

*PS- on a side note did any other Big Brother Canada fans notice that this video was narrated by Mitch from this last season? Too funny!*

I’m going to end my post by sharing the disagree team’s opening video- because I think it was so great! It shows the benefits that technology can have in 5 areas: Physical health, emotional health, social health, and intellectual health.

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6 thoughts on “The Healthy and Unhealthy sides of Tech

  1. Erin Benjamin says:

    I knew I recognized Mitch’s voice as the video was playing and then when he was visible at the end, it was a definite “aha” moment! I’m glad I’m not the only one that noticed!

    I had the same thoughts that adults are more likely to use tech to improve our health/wellness goals than children are. I’m not sure how we can shift that to even younger ages. Definitely something to think about this week!

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    • Amy says:

      I liked Mitch! I was actually cheering for him to win, but I didn’t know he was a Youtube star. I think most of the technology out there that supports healthy lifestyle is geared to adults. For kids I can only think of things like the Wii or other interactive, physical games. But maybe if kids grow up seeing their parents/teachers using technology to benefit their health- they might be more likely to do the same when they are older.

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