Podcast # 3: Teens and Technology – Blessing or Curse?

In the last episode of the Growing Leaders Podcast, we discussed communicating with the next generation. In today’s episode, we are looking at the relationship between teens and technology.

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Episode Summary

Technology is a blessing and a curse

For us as adults, as well as for students, there are many benefits

But there are also downsides

This isn’t the first time technology has been vilified

Television in the 60’s was viewed as bad

  • Then came Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo

Technology is neutral – it’s what we do with it

3 positions adults can take

  1. Isolation
  2. Saturation
  3. Interpretation

Where do we draw lines – help students draw limits?

Who is to blame for the consequences of technology?

  1. Employers who expect staff members being available 24/7
  2. Our emotional insecurities that make us dissatisfied
  3. Our culture that makes us feel guilty if we take time away
  4. Our brain responds to the pleasure technology gives

Downside – Concentration, empathy, impulse control

Upside – multi-tasking, process data quickly

The greatest downside: Internet Use Disorder – internet addicts exhibit the same patterns in their brain that cocaine addicts or alcoholics

Adolescents are predisposed to 4 pursuits

  1. Excitement
  2. Novelty
  3. Risk
  4. Connection

We substitute technology for the real outcomes of those pursuits

These are necessary pursuits but should be pursued in the real world, not virtually.

Practical solutions

  1. Go outside
  2. Find a place to serve others
  3. Fast from technology
  4. Intentionally wait for something you want

4 Habitudes that help us lead students

  1. Personal Laptop – garbage in, garbage out
  2. Discipline Bridge – we must cross the bridge of discipline to reach the desired destination
  3. Emotional fuel – cars run on gas, leaders run on emotional fuel – mentors, role models, peers
  4. Guardrails – either standards or people who help us stay safe


What topic would you like for us to address on the next episode of the Growing Leaders Podcast? Leave a comment below.

Podcast # 3: Teens and Technology - Blessing or Curse?