Landscaping tech and mental wellness

At the 2019 TAM colloquium, our attendees put their heads together to brainstorm the current hurdles in both understanding and addressing adolescent mental wellness in relation to technology.

The strategy session was lead by David Ryan Polgar, tech ethicist, TAM advisory board member, and founder of All Tech is Human.

First, we discussed what we had learned in Day 1 of the colloquium. For example, our youth panel told us that they prefer to learn about healthy tech use by doing, rather than be passively receiving advice, recommendations, or warnings.

We then outlined some of the current hurdles towards promoting health among adolescents when it comes to technology use. We noted that the more eye-catching headlines often contain misleading information about technology use, which inhibits a more accurate public dialogue. Further, perspectives do not align on what constitutes a “healthy” relationship between youth and technology.

Last, we discussed the way forward. How can we use technology to promote adolescent mental wellness? There is space to design business models in tech that hinge on doing good. We also noted the importance of designing solutions that are likely to be adopted and modeled between peers.

In short: We found that the hurdles are complex, but success is both visible and worth pursuing.

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