Digital distraction is a critical problem for parents today. It seems like social media, tech, and video games are hijacking our kids’ lives, but what if the amount of time our kids spend on devices is a symptom of a much deeper issue?
Today we have Nir Eyal on The Dad Edge Podcast. He is a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and the author of international bestseller, Hooked—How to Build Habit-Forming Products. His upcoming book, Indistractable—How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, is a guidebook for getting the best of tech without letting it get the best of us.
Nir Eyal knows better than anyone about how people get sucked into the rabbit hole of digital distraction, but what he’s going to tell us today will blow your mind. Listen as he outlines the psychology of distraction and how to address the true source of the problem so that kids don’t feel the need to overuse technology.
It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s if you planned to do it.—Nir Eyal
Nir Eyal became acutely aware of the problem of digital distraction after his daughter was born. He remembers some of her first words were, “iPad time! iPad time!” After many years helping companies make habit-forming products, he struggled with the idea of parenting in this age of distraction.
This drove him to research all he could find on the topic of distraction and technology. Nir was surprised to find out that the information propagated in the media did not align with the academic research. The tech companies weren’t the villains like most people thought. It was our own lack of “psychological nutrients.”
From then on, Nir’s mission was to learn and teach how to be an indistractable parent and raise indistractable kids.
What You’ll Learn
- What makes a habit-forming technology?
- The difference between a habit and an addiction
- The “hook” business model: Trigger, action, reward, investment
- How companies understand what makes you tick and click better than you know yourself
- How to “hack back” and put tech in its place
- The difference between traction and distraction
- When an activity is aligned with your values, it’s traction
- When it’s not, it’s distraction
- The internal and external triggers that prompt us to take action
- How all human motivation is geared to avoid discomfort
- The root of all distraction: kids trying to avoid psychologically uncomfortable situations
- How to give your kids the tools to fight distraction themselves
- Why it’s not the tech’s fault that you or your kids are distracted
- The 4 steps to become indistractable
- Master internal triggers
- Make time for traction
- Hack back external triggers
- Make pre-commitments to prevent distraction
- Why we do things we know we shouldn’t do and avoid things that are in our best interest
- The psychological nutrients children need for mental well-being: a sense of mastery, autonomy, and relatedness
- If they don’t receive psychological nutrients in the real world, they will look for them in the virtual world
- How video games give kids a sense of mastery
- How free play is a record lows
- The myth of the rebellious teenager
- How free play with peers develop children’s sense of relatedness
- How to set tech boundaries together with your kids
- How to get kids to enforce their own rules around tech
- Why you don’t just want to raise a rule follower, but a kid who can make the best decisions for themselves.
- At what age kids should be allowed to go on social media
- How to know if your kids are ready for certain to technology
- How to prioritize kids’ time for free play with friends in the real world by teaming up with likeminded parents
- How free play prevents anxiety and depression
- Why parents have to walk the walk themselves
- How we are sabotaging ourselves by blaming tech companies for taking over our brains
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