Interview with Mari Swingle, author of i-Minds

by: Sara on 05/10/2019

Today we speak with Mari Swingle, author of i-Minds: 2nd edition:How and Why Constant Connectivity is Rewiring Our Brains and What to Do About it

Dr. Swingle is a practicing therapist, researcher, and author who has been working in the fields of mental health and education for over 25 years. She is a known expert on the effects of i-technology (screen-based devices), and lectures locally and internationally on the effects of screen-based technology on our brains and behavior.

Our winning book giveaway questions was: Is this evolution and adaptation or something we need to fight against? Look for the answer below.

Don't miss out on your chance to win, check out our spring giveaway schedule here.

Is there something specific that attracts and hooks us into i-media?

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Absolutely.  In fact, many things.  But the central issue is that all i-media functions on a varied reinforcement schedule. Out of ‘science talk’ what this means i-media is designed to function on, or by, the same mechanisms as those operationalized for gambling.

What are some of the signs that a person may be experiencing screen-based technology addiction?

For children it is when they tantrum excessively when they are asked to disengage (e.g., asked to stop using a screen and get ready for school, play out side, set the table, or go to bed).  For adults it is a little more complex but a good general warning sign is when we feel anxious when we are either not using our devices or we are away from them (e.g., in the bathroom) or when we regularly choose screen time over people time.

Are there any tips or tricks you can offer to help curb i-media use?

Sure. It is all about balance. Make sure your screen use or online time is balanced with your 'real life' or off-screen / offline time.  If you are having trouble with the balance make rules --what ever they may be.  For example, screen free times and screen free zones such as no screens at the dinner table and screen-free events, nights, weekends or vacations.  --And definitely no screens in the bedroom (for kids and adults).

Winning Give Away Question

Is this evolution and adaptation or something we need to fight against ?

Both! 

i-tech is here to stay and has massively improved our world in many ways. –As such we should embrace and adapt.  That said, increasingly we appear to be in a dangerous pattern of what I call blind acceptance and blind assimilation.  We are embracing, and fully assimilating, i-tech before we have any functional idea of how both the technologies themselves, and our usage thereof, are affecting our brains, our behaviour, our culture(s) and

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Author Dr. Mari Swingle

our development (including the social, emotional and cognitive development of children).  But what we are learning is rather frightening. i-Tech is evolving at a pace that human biology (or human evolution) can not, is not, keeping pace with.  For details you will have to read the book ! 

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