., click here to enter for a chance to win one of our many $50 gift cards we are giving away.

Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

The Impact of Screen Time on Motivation

., you're logged in!
Enjoy this resource and share our programs with your school district to send these resources to your whole community
Tell Your School District About Our Program
., you're logged in!
Share this resource with a parent at .  (or visit our new sharing center)
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this demo pass. Click the button to share access with leaders in your school district (or visit our new sharing center)
Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders

Become a member or login to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
April 25, 2024

Attention parents! Are you worried about the impact screen time is having on your child's motivation offline?

In this resource you'll learn:

  • Insights from students who have experienced the pull of these platforms firsthand, sharing their journey towards finding balance and reigniting their motivation
  • An exploration of the psychological tactics employed by video apps to keep teens hooked, and how you can empower your child to navigate these influences
  • Practical advice on fostering a healthy relationship with screens, promoting productivity, and nurturing intrinsic motivation
  • Tips for initiating open and supportive conversations about digital habits, mental health, and the importance of offline activities in maintaining motivation

Preview video

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Full Live Event - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated (For Parents)

May 13, 2024

Teens live in a world dominated by digital devices. From the mesmerizing glow of smartphones to the immersive worlds of video games and social media platforms, screens have woven themselves seamlessly into the fabric of our daily existence. What impact does this screen time have on your teen’s motivation? We are diving into the relationship between screen time and motivation and providing practical strategies for navigating them. 

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide here

What is the connection between screen time and motivation?

  • Studies have found a connection between excessive screen time (especially entertainment-oriented screen time) and lower motivation in teens (Source: Emerging Investigators)
  • The average teen spends 7 hours and 22 minutes a day on screens outside of schoolwork (Source: Gitnux.org). That time may be impacting their motivation for offline activities
  • One of our student interns states that in the past, he was losing hours a day to social media. “Whenever I got up, I immediately checked Instagram and spent 3 or 4 hours on it without getting anything done, so it sucked me in.” (See Instagram App Guide 2024 video for more information)

What is emotional buffering? 

  • Emotional buffering is when we choose to do something in order to avoid negative feelings like stress or anger and one of the most common ways teens buffer is by reaching for their phone and getting on their favorite app
  • Buffering can allow students to “pause” their emotions just as they would if they watched an intense movie, felt overwhelmed, and then hit the pause button
  • Buffering isn’t always bad, because sometimes our brain needs a break, but too much emotional buffering can prevent us from doing the more important things in our life

How to balance screen time to improve motivation

Replace negative screen time with positive screen time

  • Teens can prevent screen time from impacting their motivation by using it more actively, such as learning a new skill like programming, graphic design, cooking, 3D printing, etc.
  • One of our student interns recommends, “tailoring your following page so it is full of inspiring things and things that make you happy” (Watch the full event replay for details)
  • Consume information that inspires you by listening to positive podcasts, watching YouTube videos that open your mind to something new, and following uplifting social media accounts

More resources for parents, students, & educators 

Conclusion

Many parents and educators are concerned about screen time's impact on a student’s motivation. We share that concern. Excessive screen time can impact a student’s motivation and cause many negative consequences. However, there are also many positive uses for screen time if students choose to cultivate a healthy relationship with screens and use it to support their personal growth. 

Full Live Event - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated (For Parents)

Understanding the Connection Between Screen Time and Motivation (For Students & Parents)

May 9, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide here

Elementary School Students (dialogue starters):

There’s Life Beyond Devices

  • What offline things are important to you that you might miss out on if you spend too much of your time on screens?

Tracking Time

  • What are some practical ways you can keep track of how much time you spend online and set limits so you don’t overdo it?

What Games Can’t Fix

  • Why is it better sometimes to deal directly with something you’re worried about—or ask for help—than look for an escape like playing online games?

Middle School Students (dialogue starters):

The Screen Calls

  • Why is it so easy to jump onto social media when you know you have other immediate goals you need to achieve? 

The Social Media Escape

  • Can you imagine a situation where a classmate might check into social media just to avoid a stressful situation?

Manage Your Screen Time

  • What are some ways you can monitor and limit your own screen time so it doesn’t take away from other priorities in your life?

High School Students (dialogue starters):

Why Escapes Don’t Work

  • What are some alternative coping strategies instead of going straight to social media to get your mind off a problem or stressful situation?

Getting the Job Done

  • How can you be more aware of when you might be using screen time to procrastinate? 

A Day to Focus

  • How do you think it would feel to avoid social media even for a day just to focus on meeting other goals?

More resources for parents, students, & educators 

Conclusion

Many parents and educators are concerned about screen time's impact on a student’s motivation. We share that concern. Excessive screen time can impact a student’s motivation and cause many negative consequences. However, there are also many positive uses for screen time if students choose to cultivate a healthy relationship with screens and use it to support their personal growth.

Understanding the Connection Between Screen Time and Motivation (For Students & Parents)

Balancing Screen Time to Improve Motivation (For Students & Parents)

May 9, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide here

Elementary School Students (dialogue starters):

Taking a Break from Screens

  • What are some things you really enjoy that you don’t want screen time or other distractions to take away from? 

Tips for Tuning Out

  • What tips in the video do you think would help you reduce your screen time? 

New Ways to Enjoy Screen Time

  • What are some fun or useful things you might like to learn on YouTube or other social media apps that go beyond entertainment? 

Middle School Students (dialogue starters):

Stuck on Screen Time

  • What do you think it looks like to be addicted to social media?

Creating a Better Social Media

  •  How can you edit the accounts and people you’re following on social media to make it more productive and cut out the parts that just waste time?

Tips That Work

  • Of the tips described in the video, what do you think would help you reduce screen time to focus on other goals? 

High School Students (dialogue starters):

Eyes on the Prize

  • What important area do you think you might be more productive in if you spent less time on social media? 

Social Media Brain Fog

  • If you ever find yourself spending a long period of time scrolling through social media, how would you describe your mood afterward?

Hard to Walk Away

  • What’s the hardest thing about trying to walk away from social media so you can get other things done? 

More resources for parents, students, & educators 

Conclusion

Many parents and educators are concerned about screen time's impact on a student’s motivation. We share that concern. Excessive screen time can impact a student’s motivation and cause many negative consequences. However, there are also many positive uses for screen time if students choose to cultivate a healthy relationship with screens and use it to support their personal growth.

Balancing Screen Time to Improve Motivation (For Students & Parents)

Using Screen Time in a Positive Way (For Students & Parents)

May 9, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide here

Elementary School Students (dialogue starters):

A Secret Path to Adventure

  • What are some things you think would be fun to explore on social media or anywhere on the Internet? 

What Would You Like to Learn?

  • If I asked you to write an essay about a topic you’re interested in using only computer apps, what topic would you choose?

Unlikely Sources

  • When writing the essay, what are some online sources you might use to help find ideas and information? 

Middle School Students (dialogue starters):

Social Media as a Tool

  • How can social media help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself?  

An App for Everything

  •  What are some topics or how-tos you’ve learned from social media? 

Uplifting Influences

  • What people do you follow on social media whose posts make Instagram, TikTok, or other social media sites enjoyable for you? 

High School Students (dialogue starters):

Curating Your Feed

  • How much thought do you give to the people/groups/trends you follow on social media? 

The University of Social Media

  • What are some topics you’ve looked into or skills you’ve learned through social media?

No Topic Unexplored

  • What kinds of content have you been most surprised to find on video apps like YouTube or TikTok? 

More resources for parents, students, & educators 

Conclusion

Many parents and educators are concerned about screen time's impact on a student’s motivation. We share that concern. Excessive screen time can impact a student’s motivation and cause many negative consequences. However, there are also many positive uses for screen time if students choose to cultivate a healthy relationship with screens and use it to support their personal growth.

Using Screen Time in a Positive Way (For Students & Parents)

Tools and Strategies to Deal with Screen Time Addiction (For Students & Parents)

May 8, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide Here

Elementary School Students (dialogue starters):

When Too Much Screen Time Feels Bad

  • Is there anything you do online that makes you feel less relaxed and focused after a long period of time? 

Where Did the Time Go?

  • If you use an app to keep track of how much time you spend on passive screen time, do you think you’ll be surprised by what you find out? 

Different Ways to Use Screen Time

  • How would you describe the difference between “passive” and “active” screen time”?

Middle School Students (dialogue starters):

Hard to Stop

  • Why is it hard to walk away from an activity like playing Fortnite?

Online Burnout

  • What are some downsides you or people you know have experienced from spending too much time online? 

Passive or Productive?

  • Why does the moderator in the video make a distinction between the effects of passive screen time versus productive, educational, or creative activities online? 

High School Students (dialogue starters):

Irritability, Lost Sleep, Loss of Productivity?

  • Thinking about the problems named in the video that can be associated with the overuse of social media or passive screen time, which can you relate to? 

What You Could Do with More Time

  • What are some areas of a person’s life they could improve just by spending less time engaging in passive screen time? 

How Much is Too Much?

  • What factors do you consider when deciding how much time you can afford to spend on passive screen time?

More resources for parents, students, & educators 

Conclusion

Many parents and educators are concerned about screen time's impact on a student’s motivation. We share that concern. Excessive screen time can impact a student’s motivation and cause many negative consequences. However, there are also many positive uses for screen time if students choose to cultivate a healthy relationship with screens and use it to support their personal growth.

Tools and Strategies to Deal with Screen Time Addiction (For Students & Parents)

Helping Teens Manage Screen Time with a Family Media Agreement ( For Parents)

May 9, 2024

Questions to prompt discussion with students:

Parents and Teachers: View the full VIP Facilitation Guide here

Key takeaways: 

  • Setting healthy boundaries, including time limits, helps students avoid a wide number of problems associated with excessive screen time
  • A family media agreement not only establishes screen-time rules, it opens positive dialogue between kids and parents about what’s appropriate 
  • Families that create and follow media agreements experience less friction and have fewer arguments about screen time
  • A family media agreement should include all types of media, including videos and games as well as social media
  • Parents can download a free family media agreement here: https://smartsocial.com/post/social-media-agreement

Dialogue starters for parents

To initiate conversations with students (by age group)

Elementary School

Making Choices

  • What things do you do online (like watching videos or playing games) that you enjoy the most?

Middle School 

Where to Cut Back

  • What kinds of videos, games, or apps do you think you spend the most time on, and which do you think would be easiest to cut back on to reduce your overall screen time?

High School

Importance of Time Management

  • Given all the goals you have this year for school and other activities, how can you know if the amount of time you spend on social media might be too much? 

More resources for parents, students, & educators 

Conclusion

Many parents and educators are concerned about screen time's impact on a student’s motivation. We share that concern. Excessive screen time can impact a student’s motivation and cause many negative consequences. However, there are also many positive uses for screen time if students choose to cultivate a healthy relationship with screens and use it to support their personal growth.

Helping Teens Manage Screen Time with a Family Media Agreement ( For Parents)

Spanish Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

April 25, 2024

Conclusión

Muchos padres y educadores están preocupados por el impacto del tiempo frente a la pantalla en la motivación de los estudiantes. Compartimos esa preocupación. El tiempo excesivo frente a la pantalla puede afectar la motivación de los estudiantes y causar muchas consecuencias negativas. Sin embargo, también hay muchos usos positivos para el tiempo frente a la pantalla si los estudiantes eligen cultivar una relación saludable con las pantallas y utilizarlas para apoyar su crecimiento personal.

Spanish Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

Mandarin Chinese Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

April 25, 2024

结论

许多父母和教育者担心屏幕时间对学生动力的影响。我们分享这种担忧。过多的屏幕时间可能会影响学生的动力,并导致许多负面后果。然而,如果学生选择培养与屏幕的健康关系,并将其用于支持个人成长,屏幕时间也有许多积极的用途。

Mandarin Chinese Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

Arabic Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

June 3, 2024

الخلاصة

يشعر العديد من الآباء والمعلمين بالقلق إزاء تأثير وقت الشاشة على دافعية الطلاب. نحن نشاركهم هذا القلق. يمكن أن يؤثر وقت الشاشة المفرط على دافعية الطالب ويسبب العديد من العواقب السلبية. ومع ذلك، هناك أيضًا العديد من الاستخدامات الإيجابية لوقت الشاشة إذا اختار الطلاب تنمية علاقة صحية مع الشاشات واستخدامها لدعم نموهم الشخصي.

Arabic Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

Ukrainian Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

April 29, 2024

Висновок

Багато батьків та освітян турбують вплив часу, проведеного за екранами, на мотивацію учнів. Ми поділяємо цю стурбованість. Надмірний час за екраном може впливати на мотивацію студентів та мати багато негативних наслідків. Проте, існують також багато позитивних застосувань часу за екраном, якщо студенти виберуть розвивати здорові відносини з екранами та використовувати їх для підтримки свого особистого росту.

Ukrainian Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

Russian Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

April 29, 2024

Заключение

Многие родители и педагоги обеспокоены влиянием времени, проведенного за экранами, на мотивацию учащихся. Мы разделяем это беспокойство. Чрезмерное времяпровождение за экраном может повлиять на мотивацию студентов и привести к множеству негативных последствий. Однако существуют также множество положительных применений времени за экраном, если студенты выберут выработать здоровые отношения с экранами и использовать их для поддержки своего личного роста.

Russian Language Version - How Screen Time is Making Kids Less Motivated

The Impact of Screen Time on Motivation

., you're logged in!
Enjoy this resource and share our programs with your school district to send these resources to your whole community
Tell Your School District About Our Program
., you're logged in!
Share this resource with a parent at .  (or visit our new sharing center)
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this demo pass. Click the button to share access with leaders in your school district (or visit our new sharing center)
Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders

Teens live in a world dominated by digital devices. From the mesmerizing glow of smartphones to the immersive worlds of video games and social media platforms, screens have woven themselves seamlessly into the fabric of our daily existence. What impact does this screen time have on your teen’s motivation? We are diving into the relationship between screen time and motivation and providing practical strategies for navigating them. 

Educators and parents: Guide your students' reflection and discussion with this student worksheet. (Log in to your Google account and select File-->Make a Copy)

What is the connection between screen time and motivation?

  • Studies have found a connection between excessive screen time (especially entertainment-oriented screen time) and lower motivation in teens (Source)
  • The average teen spends 7 hours and 22 minutes a day on screens outside of schoolwork (Source). That time may be impacting their motivation for offline activities
  • One of our student interns states, “Whenever I got up, I immediately  checked Instagram and spent 3 or 4 hours on it without getting anything done, so it sucked me in” (See full event video for more information)

What is emotional buffering? 

  • Emotional buffering is when we choose to do something in order to avoid negative feelings like stress or anger and one of the most common ways teens buffer is by reaching for their phone and getting on their favorite app
  • Buffering can allow students to “pause” their emotions just as they would if they watched an intense movie, felt overwhelmed, and then hit the pause button
  • Buffering isn’t always bad, because sometimes our brain needs a break, but too much emotional buffering can prevent us from doing the more important things in our life

How to Balance Screen Time to Improve Motivation

Replace Negative Screen Time With Positive Screen Time

  • Teens can prevent screen time from impacting their motivation by using it more actively, such as learning a new skill like programming, graphic design, cooking, 3D printing, etc.
  • One of our student interns recommends, “tailoring your following page so it is full of inspiring things and things that make you happy” (Watch the full event replay for details)
  • Consume information that inspires you by listening to positive podcasts, watching YouTube videos that open your mind to something new, and following uplifting social media accounts

More resources for parents, students, & educators 

Conclusion

Many parents and educators are concerned about screen time's impact on a student’s motivation. We share that concern. Excessive screen time can impact a student’s motivation and cause many negative consequences. However, there are also many positive uses for screen time if students choose to cultivate a healthy relationship with screens and use it to support their personal growth. 

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of
your membership plan. Click here to join.

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Attention parents! Are you worried about the impact screen time is having on your child's motivation offline?

In this resource you'll learn:

  • Insights from students who have experienced the pull of these platforms firsthand, sharing their journey towards finding balance and reigniting their motivation
  • An exploration of the psychological tactics employed by video apps to keep teens hooked, and how you can empower your child to navigate these influences
  • Practical advice on fostering a healthy relationship with screens, promoting productivity, and nurturing intrinsic motivation
  • Tips for initiating open and supportive conversations about digital habits, mental health, and the importance of offline activities in maintaining motivation

Preview video

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Join Our Next Live Parent Q&A Events

Jul
18
Register

Parent Strategies for Your Struggling Teen (Live Event)

This event is for parents of teens who are struggling with negative self-talk, managing emotions, or self isolation to help their teens can build a bright and meaningful future.

Jul
23
Register

Sneaky Ways TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts are Pulling Kids in and Making Them Numb

Join this live parent night event and find out what tricks video apps are using to keep your kids watching

Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.

Dotted arrow to right
Learn about our
"Very Informed Parent" 
VIP Program
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round

Schools & Districts: Partner with us to protect your community online

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Partner with SmartSocial.com
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast
each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on: