Teams + Screens: Keeping their Eyes on the Ball

In recent years, a new player has shown up on the field of youth sports: the smartphone. Whether a game is cancelled, a carpool needs organizing, or a camera is capturing the winning shot—in many ways, our tech truly deserves a trophy for helping families survive the logistics. And in others, it might deserve a little time on the bench.

START + Johnson County Mental Health

As mental health professionals, the staff at Johnson County Mental Health Center are hyper aware of how unhealthy tech use can negatively impact the families they serve—oftentimes creating a barrier in relationships, which are essential for recovery. This week, we were given the privilege of bringing our START program to their staff, and together we considered the role technology has played in exacerbating the side effects they are seeing…

Dear Lonely Mom of Older Kids

In a recent survey, Gen Z (ages 18-22) reported the highest loneliness scores…but today’s guest blogger, Rachel Anne Ridge, reveals that teens aren’t the only ones who are lonely. For moms of older kids, ”sharenting” on social media gets complicated, and in the void, loneliness can creep in. If you are in this season of parenthood, we hope you are encouraged by Rachel’s message that you aren’t alone.

The Loneliness Epidemic | Tim DeWeese

Tim DeWeese, Director of Johnson County Mental Health, shares that while we live in the most technologically advanced society in history, recent studies have shown that young adults, ages 18-22, are the most lonely generations of Americans, more disconnected than even the nation’s elderly. “It’s imperative that we as adults model for our kids how to balance tech-time with genuine time, and promote open, honest human relationships. Ultimately, these are the foundation for a strong, healthy community.”

Giving Your Phone Its Own Spring Break

As my husband and I were prepping and packing for our first vacation sans kids, the first time we were going to be away from our kids in a meaningful way, we realized that we were both at capacity with work, and tapped out emotionally with the day in and day out stress of running a two-career household with busy kids. So, before the trip, we made a pact to put the phones away…

The Abundance of the Ordinary

As screens—movies, TV, video games—present a world far more colorful and energetic than the created world itself, they not only ratchet up our expectations for what is significant and entertaining; they also undermine our ability to enjoy what we could call the abundance of the ordinary.  Andy Crouch, author of The Tech-Wise Family, shares more.

Phubbing | Brenda Walden, LMFT

A recent study of romantic relationships among college students found that “smartphone dependency is significantly linked to relationship uncertainty.” This Valentine’s week, join Brenda Walden, Marriage + Family Therapist, to learn more about “phubbing”…and ways it might be impacting your romantic relationship.

Time Well Spent | The Greatest Show

It’s the story of a young dad chasing big dreams who gets…wait for it…distracted…by a glittery, sparkly, unattainable opera singer named Jenny Lind. He gives his full attention to a person he has barely even met, ignoring the people who love him deeply. And yet, at the end of the day, he realizes that this was not time well spent…and returns home to rediscover the greatest show: being present with his family and friends.

Mental Health + Device Use in Teens

Published recently by JoCo Magazine, this article takes a close look at the link between electronic device use, depression, and impaired executive functioning in teens. At START, we are proud to be part of a community that is coming together to tackle digital health, and excited to include Johnson County Government on the list of leaders helping raise awareness. Device addiction might be one of the biggest issues our community is facing, but we believe that—together—we can create new norms that promote healthy tech use.