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Digital wellbeing & productivity researcher | speaker | author | consultant

We’re living in an age of digital distraction and dependence. Our daily lives are swamped by screens. We’re tethered to our tech. This is having a major impact on us physically, psychologically and cognitively.

None of us are immune to the ‘digital pull’- toddlers, teens and adults all succumb to screens. Our wellbeing & performance is being shaped (and often stifled) by technology.

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Technology is not the enemy, but in the modern world we face a few digital dilemmas:

We marvel at how our kids learn to tap, swipe and pinch (before they’ve learnt to tie their shoelaces or ride a bike), but at the same time we worry about what all this ‘screen time’ is doing to their physical health, social & language skills and attention spans.

We see our teenagers’ digital dependence as they spend hours scrolling their social media feeds, or playing games (or even more bizarrely, watching YouTube clips of their peers playing games, or doing hair tutorials), to the point where we hear that phone bans are being rolled out in schools.

As adults, we struggle with our own digital infatuations...whether we’re tethered to our tech for work (never-ending email alerts, or Slack notifications pinging in the background), or indulging in our guilty-pleasure of binge-watching a Netflix series, or scrolling Instagram (instead of going to bed). Yet we can’t imagine living without our phone or going #laptopless. The elusive work-life balance is even more pronounced as technology permeates every facet of our lives.

There’s little doubt that technology plays a fundamental role in our lives.

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But are we in control of technology, or is technology controlling us?

Have you ever worried about the impact of your child/teen’s digital obsession on their physical and mental wellbeing? Are you worried about it stunting their learning, or derailing their development?

Have you paused (& looked up from your phone) to consider the costs of your digital dependence and distraction on your wellbeing and productivity?

 For most of us, adults and kids alike, digital devices have become an integral part of our lives. We find it so hard to unplug. This is no accident. The reason lies with our brains.  Basically, we’ve got ancient brains operating in a high-tech, fast-paced world. Our brains simply haven’t evolved to cope with the incessant demands digital devices pose.

Popular technologies

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Utilise clever design techniques to get us hooked, they cater for our basic psychological drivers (it’s no accident that our unread email notification is red and it’s no coincidence that the background music in our kids’ games is hypnotic and repetitive)

Cause physiological changes in our body (there’s such a condition as ‘email apnoea’ where we literally hold our breath when we check our inboxes)

Cause neurological changes in the brain (we get dopamine hits as we scroll through Instagram or our inbox and our kids’ & teens’ sensory and nervous systems are hyper-aroused online and the aggressive post-screen behaviour is their attempt to discharge built-up cortisol).

For some of us, our digital behaviours have become problematic (most parents have endured their child’s or teen’s #technotantrum and we know many adults partake in ‘toilet tweeting’, i.e. using your phone in the bathroom). But we don’t have to be tethered to our devices and nor do our kids. We can form healthy & sustainable digital behaviours that enable us to use technology in healthy & helpful ways.

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I’m Dr. Kristy Goodwin

and I’m on a mission to help parents & professionals (educators, health professionals & corporate employees & executives) tame our toxic tech habits (and stop being a slave to the screen). I’m passionate about providing research-based, yet realistic advice & strategies so we can use technology in productive & purposeful ways and counteract its negative consequences...without reverting to phone bans or constant digital detoxes.

I’m a speaker, author & media commentator fascinated by how our always switched-on, digital culture is compromising our wellbeing and is counter to optimal and sustainable performance and learning.

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Most of my professional career I’ve researched and spoken about the ways in which technology shapes children’s and teens’ wellbeing, health and learning.

However, in recent years I realised that digital wellbeing wasn’t an issue exclusive to kids and teens. It’s an issue impacting adults too.

There was a time when I also struggled to digitally-disconnect & tame my digital distractions… If I’m really honest, technology was controlling me! My digital behaviours had (really) detrimental impacts on my wellbeing (late-night social scrolling was sabotaging my sleep) and mental health (yes, I suffered from #technostress, #digitaldementia and #compareanddespair syndrome) . I also began to observe that my digital behaviours were also diminishing my performance when I worked. I’d open my laptop to work and the incessant ping of email alerts, the buzz of social media notifications & my constant (failing) attempts to multi-task severely compromised my productivity & efficiency. 

That’s why I now I help corporations and workplaces promote employee digital wellbeing and performance.

Every day there’s a new headline warning us of the harmful effects of technology on children or teens. Increasingly, we’re hearing more about the costs of our always-on work culture on employee wellbeing & efficiency.

The scare of the “digital apocalypse” makes us feel guilty and fearful about our kids’ digital behaviours. We’re also seriously questioning our own digital infatuation. Most adults are now no longer more than one metre proximity away from their phone for most of the day and 80% of adults check their phone within 15 minutes of waking. 

But there’s no need (or time) for #technoguilt. We face a digital reality and banning or avoiding technology isn’t a viable solution.

So I want to help you make informed choices about your digital habits (or your family’s tech time), based on the latest neuroscience, developmental science, organisational psychology and technology research.

Parents

Parents…put an end to the guilt & guesswork…. As a digital parenting educator, speaker and author (and mum who also needs to wrangle an iPad from her children’s clutches from time to time!) I understand the concerns and frustrations of modern parents. 

I translate the latest research into practical and digestible information for parents who want peace-of-mind and evidence-based information about parenting in the digital age (without having to ban the iPad or unplug the TV).

As parents there’s more to worry about than just keeping kids safe online. Don’t get me wrong cyber-safety is so important.

But as parents and educators we also have to think carefully about whether our kids’ and teens’ digital habits are damaging their development. We need to address their digital wellbeing.

I take the grief, guesswork and guilt out of raising kids and teens in the digital age. I arm parents with facts, not fears, about how to navigate the digital world.

Teachers & Health Professionals

Teachers & health professionals working with ‘screenagers’…let me equip you with the latest research about your students’ digital wellbeing & an understanding of how their digitalised childhoods and adolescence are shaping their learning.

As a former primary school & early childhood teacher & university lecturer, I understand the concerns & frustrations facing teachers today.  I’ve dedicated my professional life to learning more about the impact technology has on students’ learning & development

Digital distractions, waning attention spans, chronically tired students (due to their digital dependence), dealing with the aftermath of cyberbullying, declining language, social and fine motor skills are just a few of the issues facing teachers today.

 I arm educators & health professionals with practical strategies to ensure that technology is supporting, not stifling, students’ wellbeing (physical and mental) and learning.

Employees & Executives

Employees & executives I’ll help you tame your toxic tech habits.

As a speaker & researcher, I understand first-hand the enabling benefits of digital technologies. I couldn’t run my business without my laptop and phone (yes, I suffer from #nomophobia, fear of not having my phone, too).

I’ve amalgamated both research and practical experience to devise digital hacks & healthy digital behaviours that support (not stifle) my wellbeing and productivity… and they don’t rely on #digitaldetoxes or going #laptopless.

I help businesses, both big and small, prioritise their employees’ digital wellbeing and bolster their productivity and performance. I help them minimise digital distractions and preserve staff wellbeing by taming their toxic tech habits (both at work & home).

Whether we love it or loathe it, technology’s here to stay. The genie’s out of the bottle.

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We have to find healthy and helpful ways to use technology & mitigate its potential pitfalls.

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I’m Dr. Kristy Goodwin

I’m a researcher, speaker and author, delivering keynote addresses, seminars and workshops to parents, educators, health professionals and employees throughout Australia. I’m on a mission to disseminate the facts and dismantle the fears about young children’s, teens’ & adults’ digital wellbeing & productivity.

I provide practical, evidence-based information about what we really need to thrive both online and offline.

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