Doing everything online – mental wellbeing vs. digital addiction effects on human interaction – WS 13 2021
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In the past EuroDIGs, experts and community members agreed that there should be a limit to the number of hours a child spends online. We discussed digital addiction. We discussed mental wellbeing and attempted to find a balance between living life in the real world and spending time online. We thought we had found the right balance.
The COVID19 Pandemic has exploded these limits: people have been prompted to spend more time online and less time outside. Limits set on «screen use» by young people have been exceeded because of online teaching. Increased online information consumption has exposed them to an increased offering of misinformation, inappropriate content and cyber risks. Are we turning them... and us, into cyber addicts?
Until 20 May 2021.
Digital addiction remains one of the most debated and disturbing problems of our time. The term itself is still very controversial. While some are alarming on the addictive potential of technologies, scientists insist on the absence of such diagnosis in the official classification of diseases and prefer to talk about «problematic» or «excessive» use of the Internet. But the problem of the disorders caused by Internet consumption has recently erupted again with renewed vigour.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which appeared at the beginning of 2020, has had a tremendous impact on all aspects of global society, including education, digital content consumption, and mental health. During the lockdown, students of all ages and levels were forced to remote learning. But it turned out to be hard to track when the studies end and the meaningless content consumption begins.
The workshop is aimed at identifying the best approaches to manage Internet traffic consumption among children who spend all day between a computer display and a smartphone screen. It is also intended to determine societal challenges caused by extensive digitalisation during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to identify effective and safe practices of e-learning in the face of children's increasing screen time.
Therefore it is structured around three main lines:
1. Digital addiction: what are the main concerns over the impact of digital technologies on the adolescent psyche?
2. Safety and Mental Wellbeing: how can social networks and online platforms modernize their work to make cyberspace a better place?
3. Challenges and Opportunities of Distance Education: where is the borderline between accessible and efficient e-learning and the ever-increasing time spent online.
Until 20 May 2021.
The workshop will be held online via Zoom and some other interactive web platforms. The one-hour session will be divided as follows:
– Introductory part: a brief presentation of the topic (3-5 mins max).
– The main part with open discussion: the essential aspects of the session will be presented by the key speakers and discussed with the audience (7-10 mins for each presentation, 5-8 mins for Q&A, 45 mins max in total).
– The final part: looking for better solutions based on regional, personal or organisational experience with a brief summary afterward (10 mins max).
Following each presentation, experts are expected to be engaged in open dialogue with other key speakers and audience. The session will be led by the moderator who will also open the floor to the audience for intervention after each expert's presentation. The second moderator will follow the chat messages and questions throughout the entire event.
Links to relevant websites, declarations, books, documents.
- Digital Wellness Lab: https://www.digitalwellnesslab.org
- Family Digital Wellness Guide: https://digitalwellnesslab.org/parents/family-digital-wellness-guide/
- Problematic Interactive Media Use: https://digitalwellnesslab.org/parents/pimu/
- Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID): https://digitalwellnesslab.org/parents/clinical-care/
- Pulse Survey: Media Use & Remote Learning During the COVID 19 Pandemic: https://digitalwellnesslab.org/research/pulsesurvey/
- Danah Boyd's, an academic and a scholar of intersection between technology and society, web site: http://www.danah.org/
- Measuring Adolescents' Well-being: Correspondence of Naive Digital Traces to Survey Data by E. Sivak and I. Smirnov: https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.11176 (PDF)
Until 20 May 2021.
Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.
Focal Points take over the responsibility and lead of the session organisation. They work in close cooperation with the respective Subject Matter Expert (SME) and the EuroDIG Secretariat and are kindly requested to follow EuroDIG’s session principles
- Vlad Ivanets
- Ekaterina Potekhina
Organising Team (Org Team) List Org Team members here as they sign up.
Subject Matter Expert (SME)
- Olivier Crepin-Leblond
The Org Team is a group of people shaping the session. Org Teams are open and every interested individual can become a member by subscribing to the mailing list.
- Vlad Ivanets
- Sabrina Vorbau
- Desara Dushi, Vrije University Brussels
- Ekaterina Potekhina
- Vesna Manojlovic
- Peter Safronov
- Silvia Crocitta, EuroDemos Youth Mobility NGO / Europejska Fundacja Rozwoju Czlowieka
The full list of experts, moderators, and other participants would be announced.
• Artur Modlinski, Researcher on the Influence of AI on Human Resource Management, European Foundation for Human Development (EuroFRC), Center for Artificial Intelligence and Cybercommunication Research (CAICR), professor at the University of Lodz, PL – link
– Social Scoring – Delusive Carrot and Stick Approach. In social scoring, new technologies are used to instantaneously evaluate human behavior by awarding or receiving points. As a result, a new dystopian mechanism of social control and exclusion emerges. The speech emphasizes the current and future risks associated with this phenomenon.
• Peter Safronov, Educational Methods Coordinator at the Letovo School, Educational Programs Historian, Author of «Udalenka» (remote education) Podcast, Professor at the Free Moscow University, RU – link
– Little Differences? What Problems of Distant Learning Faces Russia. The primary aim of the report is to provide a more nuanced picture of challenges educators are currently facing in Russia concerning distance learning. Given huge disparities in terms of access, training, and background amongst Russian learners and teachers "addiction" seems less of a problem than targeted financial support of broadband access (for remote areas and vulnerable populations), peer2peer dialogue, and action research (for urban areas and well-to-do households).
• Kristelle Lavallee, Senior Content Strategist at the Digital Wellness Lab (DWL) at Boston Children’s Hospital, Child Development Expert at Mediatrics Inc., Co-Author of the «Ask the Mediatrician» Podcast, US – link
• Jill R. Kavanaugh, Knowledge Program Librarian at Digital Wellness Lab; Coordinator at the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID), US – link
– Wellbeing and Problematic Interactive Media Use (PIMU) among Children and Adolescents. While we may be quick to label children and adolescents who struggle to regulate their technology use as «addicts,» evidence exists that defines Problematic Interactive Media Use as a disorder akin to Binge Eating Disorder – the overuse of a necessary resource. At the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders, our goal is to recognise youths’ motivations for using technology, the problems and potentials of that use, and how best to treat patients in order for them to integrate technology into their lives in healthy and optimal ways.
In addition to clinical care, the Digital Wellness Lab offers educational and evidence-based guidance for educators and families. Our recent Pulse Survey, focused on parent perspectives on distance learning during the pandemic, revealed overall mostly positive experiences with technology as well as clear concerns regarding children’s social and emotional learning. Research from the field, especially from the past year, demonstrates the importance and value of technology in our society, and also highlights the necessity of balancing technology use with other activities in order to optimise health and wellbeing.
• Vlad Ivanets, Free Moscow University student, CCTLD.RU Youth Council and YouthDIG member
Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.
Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:
- are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
- relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
- are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
- are in (rough) consensus with the audience
Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes
See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:
- dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
- short summary of calls or email exchange
Please be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you. Use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize the discussion process.
- A holistic approach, involving business, governments, civil society, and the education system, is needed to ensure that online products and platforms are designed and used in a way that promotes mental well-being.
- Media literacy and education should be integrated in the school system.
- More research on digital addiction is needed. Further, research skills of teachers and educators can be enhanced to ensure that they can contribute to the observation of behavior in the digital environment.
Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/resources/doing-everything-online-mental-wellbeing-vs-digital-addiction-effects-human-interaction.
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>> ROBERTO GAETANO: Hi, all. Good afternoon. So let’s start this session. I will say a couple of words. And then we will start and I will give the floor to the moderator.
Let me read the session rules. Sorry for – I should not have dropped the screen.
These are the session rules that I must remind you about. Please enter with your full name. So ask a question, raise hand using the Zoom function. You will be unmuted when the floor is given to you. And when speaking, switch on the video, state your name and affiliation. The chat will not be stored or published. Do not share links to the Zoom meetings, not even with your colleagues.
Let me now give the floor to Vlad Ivanets who is the moderator for this session. Vlad, you have the floor.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. This is to discuss some digital addiction issues and, yeah. I will just give a short introduction about the event and then we’ll continue with our key speakers and also we’ll have a discussion.
But first of all, if you watch us on YouTube, please put your thumbs up and follow the channel. So, yeah. So we know that the problem of digital addiction has been discussed in a way too much, but during the last one and a half year, we have been learned much more and really faced the problem of let’s call it digital addiction but I thought that the scientists do not to use this term. They more prefer to use something like overuse or addiction use of the Internet, but anyway, we call it digital addiction and we know it as digital addiction.
And this probably mostly links and touches the younger population, children mostly, whether in school or studying at the university. And during the last year, we are all, in a global and eLearning and children and students really faced this problem as well as their parents and we also wanted to discuss this issue as well.
And we know that COVID-19 somehow affected the usual life in all of society and really made a tremendous impact on all – on all aspects of global community, including education, digital content consumption and mental health.
So, yeah. The workshop is aimed at identifying the best approaches to manage Internet traffic consumption, among children who spends all day between a computer display and the SmartPhone screen, and we are also trying to find a way out to make the digital – the Internet safer – more safer and better place.
So the whole discussions will be divided into three, the first one is digital addiction and the second one is safety and the mental health. Yeah, here they are.
How can social networks and online platforms modernize their work in order to make the space a safer and better place.
Challenges and opportunities of business education, where is the bottom line between accessible and efficient eLearning and the ever increasing time spent online?
So I just checked my phone, and discovered that that during the last year – during the last week, I spent too much time on my phone and I will share my screen right now.
But I want our audience to do the same. Yes. So if you know how much time you spent online, please let us know.
And I would also – unfortunately, I feel I cannot add the file, but anyway, it was too much. So please let us know your numbers and I will present our key speakers. We have Peter Safronov from Russia. He is an educational methods, and he’s a professor at the Free Moscow University, and he has the author of Udalenka, a podcast. And then we have Artur Modlinski, who is professor at the University of Lodz. We also have – and we have two participants, two key speakers from the United States, and thank you for making it in the early morning.
So they are Kristelle Lavallee, senior content strategist at the Digital Wellness Lab, and Boston Children’s Hospital, child development expert at Mediatrics, and Jill Kavanagh, librarian at the Digital Wellness Lab as well. She’s also coordinator at the clinic for interactive media and Internet disorders.
So I think we are ready to start. So please, Peter, I think we will start with you.
So give us, please, an impact on the situation with digital addiction or educational system in Russia. And Peter, you can also share your screen with us.
>> PETER SAFRONOV: Yes, hello, everyone. Again, it’s really good to be here with you today. So I hope that you can see my screen. I would like to start with the data with the International Telecommunication Union. Would you easily see that basically not all generations in the post-Soviet space have equal access to the Internet and even the younger generations are away from the 100% broadband access to the Internet.
The situation here in Russia is not the situation of overall Internet addiction. It is permeated with various discrepancies, and inequalities with infrastructure shortages and for ICT skills. Many of those who are online, as you would easily see from this map are lacking some basic ICT skills and the situation is relatively bleak, not only in older generations, but with younger ones as well.
So having the International Space Station where not everyone is online and those online have rather poor ICT skills, what is the challenge about Internet addiction. I would say the issue in Russian and other countries is twofold. For rural areas, for girls, for educators working with vulnerable populations, especially in promote area, the most pressing issue is currently much greater Internet access. So what we need in this case is target federal and regional financial support, both for learners and teachers, as well as federal and local NGOs explaining how to use YouTube or messengers in order to create safe spaces for online learning and somehow compensate shortages in terms of learning that comes from poor resource management on site.
And the other I would say, trek, is for dense urban areas and those ones wore lucky enough to enjoy stable broadband access and enjoy a relatively high level of ICT skills.
In this case, we do need to build some efficient eLearning strategies and I would say that the milestone for this development is peer-to-peer collaboration and development. We do have lots of issues coming from the federal government in maintaining a learn level of unity of the education system here in Russia.
We from teachers in terms of the overall outcomes of any possible programs coming in a top-down manner and imposed on their actual practice.
What we also need to do is understand that when teachers are becoming users of digital tools and digital platforms, they are transforming themselves into researchers.
In most cases, today, scientific research is largely unknown to those being researched, and teachers in Russia are – regard research as something that’s very, very distanced from their actual practice. So more sustained development of actual research and developing an understanding among teachers, that their own researchers would be a possible solution in terms of providing both more well-being – digital well-being for their kids and for their students as well.
Otherwise, we are finding ourselves in a situation without a due understanding to help ourselves in terms of building better and learning communities and better communities of practice in terms of using digital instruments.
That’s probably all I’m ready to take right now and I would be happy to answer your questions and comments later on. Thank you, Vlad.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. Yeah. As we see most half the population do not have access to the Internet. But to drive it to a more global level, I would also point out that lots of international students are suffering from the eLearning the distance education. They are not satisfied because they paid a huge amount of money, but they did not have a chance to go to the campus or meet with their peers. And also the temporary migrants are also suffering, because lots of them lost their jobs during the pandemic, as well as some people experienced verbal abuse because of their Asian appearance.
All of this has the impact on the digital addiction as we call it.
So yes. Thousand, I’m ready to give the floor to Artur to share his experience. Artur, the floor is yours.
>> ARTUR MODLINSKI: Thank you, Vlad. It’s really very – I’m very happy to have a chance to present to you my – well, the short reflection. First of all, when Peter mentioned about the health of a population, it has no access to the Internet, it means that the health of the participation is excluded from the participation in the society.
However, when I observe how people and students – how people and students are working right now, the other problem, the other side of the coin is the people who have the access to the Internet, they are constantly compared to each other. And this kind of phenomena is developing really, really fast.
Before the Internet, we used to have – as human beings we used to compare ourselves with our close friends or family member. Now we have the access to people around the world and it members that are very skill and talented, they have no chance to send a CD to a great company or apply to the university that’s really in the top. This is one of the problems that I observed.
The second social starring. A friend that’s developing really rapidly in China and it’s some kind of – well, we may the program of – yeah, the program that influences generally speaking our chances of being included into the society because there is a system. Which compares if we are making the things that approved by the regime or not approved, and we got positive or the negative points for this.
In other words, once again, people are comparing themselves and they may included some type of activities, well, generally speaking the activities that they take.
And the first area is something what I called the tracking algorithms. So I observed that, well, people are overwhelmed with technology that is – we may say the – the tracking oriented.
It means we have the algorithms. We have the cookies. And generally, when I speak to the employees, they start to be panicked. What does the company know about them? What does the company not know about them? And sometimes when I talk to the people from the medicine and generally speaking from, for example, who are working as the psychiatrists or people who take care for our psychological needs. They track everywhere. From each possible site. It is also linked with the tiredness and depression. In other words, we cannot talk about well-being anymore but sometimes the massive waves of technology are provoking what I call the bead bean.
This is something that people have to follow. Generally speaking to manage how they work on a daily basis, how they work in the workplace and how they contact their friends. So this over control is sometimes such a factor that has a negative impact on how we work and how we socialize with other people.
So to sum up my reflection from this idea, it is, of course, the case what Peter mentioned that, well, half of the population is excluded but another half of the population, who is not excluded, they are in some kind of a rat race, constantly comparing to each other, and in consequence, they may have the mental problems in the future because of this kind of the phenomena that occur.
So these are my reflections and I’m very open for questions and the insight from your side. Thank you very much.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Yes thanks a lot. I recently tried to get some more information about the China social credit system, as you mentioned. Yes, and here’s a link. And it says that if you have lower ratings, then you will not be able to get the healthcare on the appropriate level or you can even lose your chance to, you know, to rent a house or you are not able to buy a ticket for the plane or the train. It’s crazy.
I will talk about this a bit more later and discuss this problem and the potential of the social ratings and everything.
And now I’m ready to give the floor to Jill and Kristelle, yeah. The floor is yours. So please let us know what you are going to talk about today.
>> JILL KAVANAUGH: Hi, everyone. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk a little bit about what we do and it’s very interesting hearing the, you know, different perspective in Europe because obviously the US while we do have some access to the technology issues, and a lot of socioeconomic status issues related to access, generally, the majority of our population has access to what we need.
I’m going to really quickly go through what we do. We have the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders. It’s’ multidisciplinary clinic started a couple of years and we see children and young adolescents from 19 to 24, whose media is affecting their social, physical, emotional or cognitive well being. We kids coming in who are potentially addicted to social media, or video gaming or pornography or spending a lot of time online messaging with their friends and whatnot. We are part of a teaching hospital. So we offer fellowships and continuing medical education courses. We train everyone from physicians to social workers to teachers to nurses, school nurses. Basically anyone would works with this. Population of children to young adults. With ask them to reach out with questions or concerns.
We have our own diagnostic screening tool and that’s available freely online and essentially our goal at the clinic is to kind of recognize the function of the media in the child’s life. You know, what are their motivations for using it? What are the problems and the potential of abuse? How best can we treat them? How we treat them to integrate media into our lives in a healthy, balanced, mindful way.
We rely on the best scientistic information available and the needs and values of patient and their family which is very important because every family dynamic is different. Every child, adolescent, young adult is different, and we tailor our treatment on the individual.
I will quickly go into a little bit of a history of what we consider problematic interactive media use. So all technology has been accused of being addictive. I was digging through some research and in 1934, they said television was addictive. There’s articles about computer addiction in the 1970s. I found an article in 1982, about space invader addiction.
The earliest kind of research that on the Internet addiction was pioneered by Dr. Kimberly Young in the 1990s. I’m sure anybody who studied the history Internet addiction will be familiar with that name.
The American – and, again this is a very American perspective which I apologize. So the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders was – the latest version was published in 2013, and it listed Internet gaming disorder as an area for further study. So there’s a couple of problems with that.
You know, video gaming is not the only facet of this issue. As I mentioned a lot of people, especially youth spend time on social media or communicating or watching porn, et cetera. And so what was interesting in this version of the DSM-5, it was the first time that they included a substance-related addictive disorder which was gambling disorder. So this was first time that a disorder of a behavioral nature was included because previously and currently, you know, there’s a lot of heavy emphasis on the chemical substances such as addiction to alcohol, caffeine, stimulants and opioids and everything else.
And then the World Health Organization, the international classifications, they introduced gaming disorder under disorders due to addictive behaviors. There’s been a slow movement towards officiating diagnosis.
The addiction vs. disorder, the research has a heavy emphasis on focusing on this as an addiction but there’s a lot of debate whether it’s a true addiction or disorder, and for us, in our clinic, in our lab, we see it as a disorder, which is more of a collection of symptoms.
And one thing I find fascinating is there’s a lack ever consensus around terminology, but I keep a list of all the nomenclature that exists, and I currently have 65 different terms they are calling it social media addiction to problematic mobile phone use, pathological video gaming, and binge watching. So they are trying to take these different facets and create their little own niche and say that’s where the addiction lies. We think of Problematic Interactive Media Use akin to binge eating disorder. It’s basically the overuse of a necessary resource.
Just as we can’t go without food, in our modern society, we can’t go without technology. So as you will see, we don’t – we don’t promote abstinence from technology whatsoever.
The comorbidities and risks. Based on our clinical expertise, we see youth presenting with at least one other mental health issues so common ones are ADHD, which is attention definite hyperactivity disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, depression and youth on the autism spectrum disorder – or on the autism spectrum.
So these youth show up at our clinic, usually with their parents and caregiver in hand. They tend to have one of these in combination with the digital media use problem or we diagnose them with one of these existing conditions. With regard to some of the symptoms that we are seeing, obviously, a lot of times we get parents coming in saying my son is playing video games 14 hours a day. I can’t get him to go to sleep, and I can’t get him to go to school. That’s one of the major signs the amount of time on the digital media. Are they spending more time alone in anywhere rooms? Are they missing school? Are they not taking care of themselves?
Are they having trouble sleeping? Are they sleeping longer? Are they sleeping during day? Are they being secretive about what they are doing online hide their phone when you walk by? Have they given up hobbies and interests that they previously had and have replaced those with their digital media use.
Basically, these youth present to our clinic and we have to go through the official diagnostic criteria to figure out how best to kind of category these youth and just as there’s over 65 ways to problematic media use there’s just as many validated screening tools.
Some are very broad. Some are more tailored such as the binge watching disorder, scale and measure. So, yeah. There’s a lot out there. But in our clinic, we have as I previously mentioned in our in-house screening tool. We have basically a short form for a parent and a short form for the child or adolescent, basically asking them about the media use and a bit of health survey.
We try to focus at least in our screener, any issues around sleep, socializing in school. Because we find most of the youth that come into the clinic have at least one, if not all three of those issues as a result of their digit media use.
And then the other major screening tool is the Internet addiction test which was created by Kimberly Young and she has the parent caregiver version. And we use a couple of screening tools not specific to digital media one is the personal wellness index and the behavioral system for children. They help us tease out more about what is could possibly be going on in a child’s life.
My last point, the treatment. Our clinicians take a multipronged approach. First is we do use some medication, but these are addressing issues that are already existing and to alleviate some of the symptoms and comorbidities. And so these issues to treat the underlying ADHD, or the underlying depression. We don’t use the medication to treat the Internet addiction. We get to the root of what the child is experiencing as far as other mental health issues.
And then the bulk of our treatment is psychological, and it creates a healthy balance. We don’t promote abstinence from media. They need it for school and socializing. So what we have done is we created a treatment manual from the media use treatment manual and it’s a combination of dialectical, cognitive behavioral therapy. And it’s basically a combination of trying to get to the root of what else is going on the eLearning child’s life, you know, addressing are there any safety concerns at home, are they in a safe environment? Are they being bullied? Are they cyberbullied. We encourage them to find the motivation within themselves to make these changes and to themselves why are you spending 14 hours a day video gaming? Could there be a reason why you are doing that?
>> Another big thing that the treatment focuses is modifying the parent and caregiver behaviors. A lot of times, you know, parents come in and they say I don’t know what to do or I – you know, I threw his iPhone in the garbage and it’s like, okay. We need to address what are better ways to approach, you know having conversations with your child and that will actually affect the behavioral change because just trying to sell the child couldn’t play video games or take aware their console. They are trying to address any negative emotions that the child may be experiencing and any control problems and then the final step, is you know, figuring out what obstacles are there for this child or teen to return to a normal life.
If they have been having cyberbullying issues, do they need to switch schools? Have they been playing up all night to play video games? We need to reset their schedule. Have they stopped playing hockey to play video games? I know it’s a lot of information. It’s kind of crammed in.
If anybody has any questions, I am available to answer anything. I will throw it on to Kristelle.
>> VLAD IVANETS: So Kristelle, are you going to share some information from your side?
>> KRISTELLE LAVALLEE: Yes, thank you. To in addition to the robust clinical care which Jill just spoke about, the digital media lab, the best way that we have found to kind of make sure that this is relevant for today’s families is to conduct pulse surveys or in the moment surveys. Last one was 2021, and it was really organized around the central question of what have been family’s experiences with remote or online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. And as Jill aptly noted, this is an American survey. So this was done with nationally representative sample of American parents with children ages 5 through 18. So, again kind of enriching this conversation from the American perspective side, and, again of younger children here.
When we found was actually quite interesting. The majority of parents reported positive experiences with remote learning, 62% of them. 54% of the parents surveyed said that they were always or often able to observe their child’s remote learning. And we know from robust prior research, any time you can have a parent involved in a child’s learning experience, even as a positive observer, learning outcomes are so much more enriched and they get more out of experience than they would if the parent was not present. It’s lovely to see especially after the pandemic year that we all just experienced.
Digging in a little deeper with more pointed questions. Parents reported that the learning helped their child’s reading and math skills, however, they did see it as harmful to their child’s social and emotional learning and specifically, the development of those skills. So if you take a look – and I apologize that some of these graphics are a little tiny, but the pink represents hurt that the parents were reporting. With reading and math skills, it’s minimal but with social skills, it jumped to about 32%. That’s largely because parents thought that the analog of screen mediation was not as robust as what they would get in person. They felt their social and emotional skills were stymied. Expertly conducted surveys such as the one done here at the lab, coupled with research in the field, especially from this past pandemic year demonstrates and highlights the necessity of balancing technology use with other activities in order to optimize health and overall well being.
Which is truly a central tenant of what we are trying to do at the lab, especially in the education portion. So what we endeavor to do is taking these pulse surveys for relevance and the research that we conduct in house at the lab and then calling from all of the global robust experience that you are looking for. And translating that and making accessible for those key stakeholder groups. As Jill mentioned clinicians as well as educators, parents and the youth themselves. All of these resources we are very pleased to say are available for free on our central hub which theDigitalWellnessLab.org. We have everything from holiday guides, especially in demand from last year as well as our back-to-school guidance, which I mentioned in our poll survey. And our popular family digital wellness guide which is all organized by developmental stage. Again, everything is backed by the latest science, and it’s freely available on our website.
Our experts also love to participate in a number of webinars and academic lectures and academic presentations, and we try to make them accessible and available on whether they are recorded or just open for registration.
And then finally, we are trying to also harness technology for the good. We have a presence on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. We hope by the end of this year, to have an active presentation on Snapchat and TikTok to really practice what we preach. So thank you. As Jill mentioned, we are happy to give any answers to questions that you may have, and it’s been truly wonderful to be a part of this.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. Thanks a lot. It’s quite interesting because here we have a paradox, because social networks to make our connection, to bring it to the new level, makes us not so social as we should be and you proved it with your nice presentation. Yeah.
And I would also like probably ask you – yeah, as we know Instagram and some other platforms tried to involve kids in their activities and they implement new kinds of applications for kids and the US, this is a huge debate around it.
What do you think? Do we really need to create such platforms for kids? It harmful for useful for them?
>> KRISTELLE LAVALLEE: Vlad, is this open for –
>> VLAD IVANETS: Yeah, yeah, anyone can answer.
>> KRISTELLE LAVALLEE: I will start from our perspective and the lab’s perspective, as you so aptly noted, Vlad, it’s definitely a hot topic right now and we have seen a number of protests and a number of organizations that our lab is associated with has come out against this and I think the answer is really dependent on how it’s done. We know that a lot of young children are already on this space, including Instagram. So it is no secret that they are using these media and technologies and that they are – they are causing harm. We have seen that in a number of different facets.
So if we are able to come up with any kind of application, it doesn’t need to be Instagram, but that’s done in a way that promotes interaction, that social interaction in a meaningful way, as well as health and well-being, we could see this being a positive. Unfortunately, as I think we are all aware, some companies have been really opaque in their release of information. It depends on the development and the underlying motivations.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you ever. And other folks. Yes, Peter.
>> PETER SAFRONOV: I have a question to Jill and Kristelle. Apart from the time spent on, like binge watching or gaming, whatever, will you please name any other two or three points that would be for you the most obvious signs of growing Internet addiction of a child?
>> JILL KAVANAUGH: Yes. So I would definitely say if it’s affecting their sleep. I mean, that’s a big one. In the child is going to bed with their phone, for example, and, you know, texting all night long or using TikTok all night long, those will be an obvious sign. The child will have difficulty waking up and there’s a lot related to that because then that starts the cascade of they will have trouble with school. So if they are too tired to focus during the day, their grades will drop. That’s why we focus on sleep and then school. And then the last thing is the social life.
You know, are they – and this is usually kind of more so used in the realm of cyberbullying. We are finding even if a child has experienced cyberbullying. They want to know. They want to know what is being said, they will be essentially addicted to their phone to know what is going on. And any change in social functioning and relating to that is discontinuing of the activities that they generally love.
We have children who come in who have been all-star varsity athletes and they just one day stopped going to practice and now spend all of their time playing video games. It’s an underlining anxiety or depressive disorder that we are focusing on. We wind to focus on the sleep, the attention and the school.
>> PETER SAFRONOV: Thank you so much.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Yeah, I also encourage our audience to ask questions, raise their hands if you have any inquiries about the topic.
But still there is no questions in the chat, but I see that we have some ideas and some articles. So if you are willing. I’m ready to answer the question that was sent a bit before. So his question is: There are many differences in how different cultures see the use of devices. In many Asian countries, they prevalence of digital addiction is many times higher than in Europe. This has been explained by the tolerance towards existing use, compared to the European ones for example.
So what do you think about the digital use, excessive digital use in different countries. Does it differentiate? Anyone can answer. Yes, Artur, please.
>> ARTUR MODLINSKI: It’s a very interesting question. I observed this trend when we have students from, for example, Japan and China with their – well, their intention to use the devices. They are really oriented into well, the virus web pages and virus sources. Well, when we consider Japan’s that’s developing their – well, we may say that society 5.0 phenomenon for years and decades. They are really spread everywhere. It’s like a natural part of their being. Well, a part of the society to use the robots, to use artificial intelligence, to make technology in such a way that this is natural part of our being.
I do not have any data if the – if people who are living in such countries, they are more or less, well, addictive to the technology. This is probably some kind of the challenge. I observe that they use technology in different ways, different manner than we do, it for example in Poland.
So this is a difference for sure, however, I don’t know if this kind of a difference is really like – it is a symptom or it provides some symptoms of being technology addicted or not.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Okay. Any other comments on this question?
>> JILL KAVANAUGH: One thing I wanted to add. Definitely in the Asian country, general – this is a generalization, obviously, they recognized for started to discuss the issue of Internet addiction earlier than North America. They have treatment centers that are essentially boot camps where they send the children off to do some wilderness therapy or they are absolutely removed from the situation where they have any access to the Internet or video games or whatnot.
You know, there’s? Questionable results of, that whether that actually helps or not as a treatment method, but I think the higher prevalence is just that it’s been more common in places like South Korea than, say, in the United States, in the past couple of decades.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. And I also see some questions from Sylvia. Please, if you unmute yourself, could you please read your questions out loud? That would be great.
>> PARTICIPANT: Hello. Hello, everybody. I’m Sylvia from Poland. I would like to pose two questions to the keynote speakers. The first relates to the problems that you have been discussing about social exclusion of access. What do you want to counter – for one time, the social exclusion of young people of students and workers and how to improve the can quality. And the second thing is the – do you think they should raise some programs about the potential issues that the overload of Internet can cause on the mental health to general health to people? Thanks a lot. I think I finished my intervention.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thanks a lot.
>> PETER SAFRONOV: If I may drop a line. Well, I would strongly support the idea that the idea of the corporate responsibility, in providing social success and our federal governments and NGOs, we should not forget about the real businesses, the local businesses and others might play in terms of providing access.
And the second point would be the programs for ongoing professional development and teachers and educators in general. I would suppose that often we distrust, or we fear something we don’t understand completely. So sometimes blaming kids whether they are real or not so real digital addiction comes from the very fact that educators do not understand what is actually going on.
And sometimes we just don’t understand what actually happens between kids when they are interacting online in including the cyberbullying issues that Jill has mentioned.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. Yes, Artur, please.
>> ARTUR MODLINSKI: Thank you, Sylvia for the questions. I will try to answer the first one. Generally speaking, I believe that we really need a new model of education, and this is not only the case of Poland but this is a global case. Well, observing how young people – what they are doing at school. Sometimes I believe that we stay really at three decades ago. I appreciate we have a lot of literature, math, biology, chemistry, it’s really great. But still, we have very little nonformal education. We have little lecture or workshop. We have civil society and how to function in the digital society. This is something that he we should refine or modify so that he with pay attention to the challenges this the young people will face in the future. These are for sure the challenges that the young people will face.
I believe it was Uruguay, when they bought, for each child, they bought a computer instead of investing in some – the social action, they did it.
What they made – maybe it was not perfect. I don’t know the details, but somehow they identified the challenges that we will face and I believe we should some kind of the model of challenges, not just to look into the past. The past is beautiful, but the past is past. We should focus on how the world education, work, social response – social relationships, how they will look like in the future.
So this is probably something I would recommend to – to imagine what is the future of our society and what kind of education these young people need in their schools.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. Can we put this new digital technology or can we save some time away from the screens come we have more eLearning or less screen time? Yes, Artur, please.
>> ARTUR MODLINSKI: Okay. I will try to finish with a few you words. Well, yes, it’s just the way – how we think about the – combining digitality and, well, the challenges we. Have I observe, for example, the game – in Poland it was very popular, the Pokemon Go or something like this. The children were collecting some points. Right. It’s still not super healthy from the point of view of the mentality. They had to go out.
They have to converse. They had to run. They had to be involved in some kind of activities. I believe we can take this perspective to learn people, for example, to talk with each other, to gape some knowledge also from the other people, like this is probably a way to combine the two ways in such a way that for example, games, and some kind of workshop we have. They combine both, digitality and social activities.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Okay. If anybody has questions, please raise your hand, or leave your questions in the chat.
And as we come close to the end of our workshop, I think that we need to probably put some recommendations or create some – no – the question is – my question is. Who should be blamed for the situation that we created, platforms that attract children and adults, obviously, or these other elements would not supply schools and institutions with the goods equipment, and tool, or who could be? And what do we want from them to make the situation a bit better?
>> KRISTELLE LAVALLEE: I’m not able to raise my hand so thanks for seeing my hand.
I think that deals with Sylvia’s question and something that we are striving for at the lab is really to move away from this idea of kind of blame and shame and really understanding that, you know this is where we are and I think Artur, you mentioned that. This is the reality. This is where we are and we have to take it where we are.
If you look at industry, you know, it is – when you talk to them, I don’t think they wanted this to occur in terms of the negative health outcomes. They want to have a consumer base is healthfully using their products. I think we need to move towards what does the science say about how to best utilize these products and platforms in ways that optimize health and well-being and how can we, again, going back to Sylvia’s question. How can we say that we need to raise awareness that these are – there are things that are built in that are actually harmful. And can we get rid of those things within the design itself or can we, going back to I think Peter what you said about kind of media literacy education, say that we need to integrate that education into our school systems so that we as consumers as patrons of these consumers know how to best utilize these technologies for ourselves.
I think this is a holistic approach. It starts with us, and it goes to industry and it goes to education, as well as governments. So it’s very nuanced and it’s going to take a lot but I think even just fostering this kind of conversation and making actionable change working together can be helpful on that front.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. Jill, please.
>> JILL KAVANAUGH: Basically, these kids are going to use it regardless. This is the new normal. We really have to focus on mitigating harm because they will continue to use – so something like TikTok, for example and I spent a lot of time on these apps and trying to figure out what is popular, and I see so many amazing social connections happening. I also see a lot of garbage.
So, I mean, it is – it can go either way. But the fact that there are good things happening on this app, a lot of social justice promotion, a lot of like friendship building a lot of sharing of skills. I mean, it’s amazing to watch these young people master this app and do great things but it’s devastating to watch the other half who just use it for just not great things. So you know, I think again if we try to promote the youth who are using it more healthier ways and mitigate the harms of the bad use as much as possible, I think that’s really what we have to do.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Thank you. That’s great. So if anyone has last addition or notions, please go ahead.
>> PETER SAFRONOV: I would say that we definitely these more comparative international research on all of those issues and it’s definitely not about states or Russia or Poland. It’s our common problem and we have to treat the eLearning way, and I would completely agree with this no blaming and no shaming idea. It’s not about shaming someone, kids or teachers whoever.
The thing is about trying to build really evidence-based approach to all of this really complicated issue. And since it’s about evidence, we need to provide research competencies both in determining their own behaviors and helping others to provide less harmful and more productive ways of engaging themselves in Internet environment.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Okay. Anyone else?
Okay. No one. No one left. So Boris, we have a rapporteur, and he was making some notes from our discussions. And, yeah. He will tell us a bit about his role, Boris, hello.
>> BORIS: Hello, I’m Morris with – and I will present the message from this session, and it will be on the GIP watch observe are toy shortly. The messages will be available for additional comments and EuroDIG will provide more detail on that.
So the key message from this section is that a holistic approach involving businesses, government, civil society, and education system, are needed to make sure that Internet is being used. More research is needed and research competencies of trainers, in the education system are needed to – to observe behavior of children on the Internet environment.
Unless there is strong objections to the messages, we can consider those to be in rough consensus.
>> VLAD IVANETS: Yes. They are all good. No objections at all.
I’m really happy that we got together to discuss such important topic and, yes, this probably remains with us and as we can predict the digital education and digital literacy, will be the – the concept that we need to implement as much as we can. Yes. And I think this is on the shoulders of the whole society. Not this or that society. Thank you for joining us today. So I think we are done here and have a nice day.
>> PETER SAFRONOV: Thank you so much! Thank you, everyone.
>> ARTUR MODLINSKI: Thank you a lot. See you soon.
>> Thank you, this is Studio Trieste. Thank you for having joined and it was a very good session.
Don’t remember – don’t forget that we have the social event later on in the evening and please stay around to participate. Thank you, and good-bye.