We are texting, emailing and posting more than ever – but are we truly communicating?

The technology we use every day has helped us accomplish great things, but it’s also had a profound impact on how we communicate. If current habits continue, experts are concerned overuse of popular technology could lead to diminished speech, language and hearing abilities.

Now that technology is woven into the fabric of everyday life, Americans need trusted advice more than ever.

The Healthy Communication and Popular Technology Initiative is an effort led by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to safeguard healthy communication in a technology-driven world. We are a force for moderate tech use that encourages conversation, human interaction and practicing safe listening.

Join the effort to foster healthy communication habits in a technology driven world:

  1. Find at least one or two opportunities during the day – at the dinner table, for example – to create tech-free times.
  2. Resist overreliance on technology to pacify boredom and plan other activities to keep young children entertained.
  3. Don’t overestimate the value of educational apps – children learn best through talking, conversing and reading.
  4. Make tech use a group activity, such as while playing an online game
  5. Consider whether young kids really need their own devices, and try ones with features that limit content and provide extra security
  6. Set daily time limits and enforce them through devices that automatically turn off or keeping track yourself.
  7. Be consistent in enforcing the parameters you set for tech use.
  8. Always practice safe listening, especially when using ear buds or headphones.
  9. Model the safe tech habits you want your kids to adopt.

Learn the signs of communication disorders and seek an assessment from a speech-language pathologist or audiologist if you have any questions or concerns. Contact the Windom Area Health Rehabilitation Services Department to speak with a Speech Pathologist today at 507-831-0634.

By Joann Anderson

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