Kids glued to screens?
The ability to use digital technologies without being used by them is a skill which can be practiced—and taught. Combining years of experience with research into the science behind addictive design, Screenfarers offers solutions beyond simply reducing screen time.
Most digital platforms are rife with psychological tricks to maximise ‘time on device,’ because the way free products turn a profit is through advertising. The interfaces we interact with are reshaping our minds in ways that are not always in our best interest. As attention spans dwindle and instant gratification prevails, teachers and parents are right to be concerned.
Yet the psychology of ‘persuasive design’ is not hard to understand. Learning about it allows us to notice tricks we encounter and respond consciously. Screenfarers is packed with information and practical strategies which people of all ages can use to fight back against manipulation.
We need not be caught in the web. By practicing the art of screenfaring, we can move beyond ‘surfing’ the digital realm: we can chart a safe course, tack to the winds, and evade the attention pirates. By teaching the art of screenfaring, we can ensure that the next generation will do the same.
About the author
Seth Bunev was in his tweens when the internet took over everyone’s lives (including his). Concerned about the impacts unfolding around him, he got rid of his phone and laptop at age 17 and spent four years with no electronic devices except a watch and a flashlight. Throughout this experiment, he observed how his mind changed, striving to untangle the mental effects of digital technologies. When he went to university, the analysis and self-experiment continued as he gradually reintegrated with the digital world, seeking a balance. Seth studies how the cultures which shape us change over time, a confluence of history and psychology. He teaches naturalist skills to children and adults.
Screenfarers is a book that every parent and educator needs to read.
Seth Bunev explains to the reader how to educate ourselves and our children about the habit forming and behaviour design of digital technology. He also outlines how digital technology is impacting our children’s value systems and social skills. Furthermore, he provides educational challenges for both elementary and secondary school teachers to use in their classrooms.”
Registered Clinical Counsellor
Weaving together the history of digital technologies, analysis of persuasive design, and practical suggestions, Screenfarers is an invaluable guide for navigating the digital world.
Bunev’s skillful writing makes it easy to understand why tech is so hard to resist and what we can do to help young people take back control of their lives.
Parent and founder of Turning Life On
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Continue the conversation
Social change happens when people talk to each other and build common ground around shared problems. Speak with your friends, family, and coworkers about habit-forming technology. Are they concerned too? Are there ways you can support each other?
How have you fared with Screenfarers? What has worked well? How could Screenfarers serve you better? Tell us about your frustrations, successes, and ideas.