Letter to the Editor: Support the digital well-being of our youth

Published 5:35 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

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To the Editor,

I am writing in support of the LiveMore ScreenLess movement and S.F. No. 163, which advocates for the digital well-being of our youth. I write to you not only as a communication studies and mass media graduate pursuing a master’s in applied health science, but also as a big sister to many younger siblings growing up in this incredible wave of digital advancements. I strongly agree with Dr. Vivek Murtht, U.S. Surgeon General, who expressed that technology has brought a lot of good to our lives, but the misuse and overuse of it have had serious effects on us as well.

When reading about the effects of technology dimensions of well-being presented by the LiveMore ScreenLess movement, it may be difficult to understand how something that seems under your control or at your disposal could have such a potentially negative grip on YOU, but it is all true. I love a movie marathon, Nintendo games, and a wasted hour scrolling social media as much as the next person, but like most things in life, digital use is best in moderation. This is especially true for those whose brains are still developing as they rely on those of us who know better to look out for their best interest. Resources, tools, and knowledge on handling avoidable dangers like sleep disturbances, dangerous ideologies, cognitive distraction, and much more could be easily achieved with our support. I strongly encourage everyone reading to learn more about digital well-being and LiveMore ScreenLess and help our youth enjoy digital use without risking the danger technology use has such potential to cause.

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Harlie Osberg

Austin, MN