• This article was printed in the April 2014 edition of the Guidance Newsletter:
    Are You Device-Dependent? 

    People around the world have become more attached to their digital devices, staying plugged in for many hours throughout the day and night for work, study, research, shopping, entertainment, access to news, and staying connected to their friends and loved ones.  We even have a BYOD policy here in POB so you can use your device in school.
    How much screen time is too much?  Are you device-dependent and do you need a "digital detox?"Australian psychologist, Dr. Ben Williams of Swinburne University has proposed the following questions (http://ab.co/1cuZosQ) to help you decide if you are Internet addicted:
    "Digital detox checklist
        1. Can I easily log off without feeling stressed or anxious?
        2. Do I feel irritable or stressed when I can't log on; do I feel that logging on will relieve this?
        3. Do I have at least one internet-free evening per week?
        4. Do I spend a lot of time thinking about being online when I'm not logged on?
        5. Do I avoid family or social commitments to spend time online?
        6. Do family, friends, or co-workers nag me about being online; do I lie to them about it?
        7. Do I stay up late or wake up early to log on?
        8. Do I frequently skip meals because I'm online?
        9. Have I been late for work or missed deadlines because of my internet use?
        10. Have I tried to cut back on my internet use and failed?"

    While many of us may do some of these things, Williams suggests that "if you regularly do four or five of them, it could be an early warning sign of problems with internet use and you should consider trying to cut back."