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Explore Digital Wellness with this Family Summer Playlist

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 (Illustration using images from KQED’s Above the Noise video series.)

Let’s be honest: we are all going to be on our devices a little more this summer. But what should that look like, and how much time online is too much? KQED’s Above the Noise videos explore the research behind everything from video game addiction to whether the internet makes us meaner. Invite students and families into a conversation about online wellness using this playlist and explore bonus activities to get off the couch for some old-fashioned family fun.

Video Game Addiction: Is it Real?
From game crazes like Fortnite or Animal Crossing to old favorites like Super Mario Bros., we are all playing plenty of games these days. And that has some people worried. The World Health Organization officially recognized “Gaming Disorder” as a mental health condition. But the American Psychiatric Association isn’t convinced. So what’s going on? Is video game addiction REALLY a thing?

Screentime: How Much Is Too Much?
Even by conservative estimates, the average American spends over six hours per day staring at a screen. That’s a lot of time. So what does the scientific research say about screentime? Is it good or bad for us?

Is the Internet Making You Meaner?
If the internet’s making you feel meaner, you’re not imagining it. People really do act differently online than they do in person. In this episode, find out why.

How Do Different Social Media Platforms Affect Your Mood?
Do a quick Google search on how social media affects your mood, and the results make it seem like all the social media platforms will plunge you into depression. Facebook shows everyone’s perfect life and exotic vacations. Expertly curated selfies abound on Instagram. But, if you look at the actual research, the results aren’t that simple.


When Is Your Brain Ready for Social Media?
An estimated 20% of kids between 8-12 years old are using social media even though most platforms require users to be at least 13 to create an account. So how does social media negatively and positively affect youth?

Busting COVID-19 Myths and Misinformation: We Got You
Even what we read online can impact our health and wellbeing. With new information about COVID-19 comes misinformation, too! False claims and rumors about everything from treatments and remedies to how the virus is spread are popping up everywhere — it’s hard to keep track of what’s accurate and what’s not. Above the Noise host, Myles Bess, not only sets the record straight by speaking to a public health expert to answer some of your most burning COVID-19 questions, but also gives you some quick tips on how to vet if what you’re coming across online is accurate or not.

Bonus Video:
How Is Tech Changing the Way We Read?
Reading has been an important part of the human experience for thousands of years, but believe it or not, that’s not a long time on the evolutionary time scale. Before the internet, it made sense to read long texts in a linear fashion. Learn how that’s changing as people adapt to skimming shorter texts on their computers or phones. This summer, don’t forget your public library. Check to see if curbside pickup and summer reading programs are offered near you.

Bonus Activities:

Find more playlists and free resources for families and educators in our At-Home Learning collection.

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