Show #383 Kids and Tech: How to cultivate a healthy, safe blend of tech and reality in the digital world with psychologist, and cyberpsychology researcher Dr Jocelyn Brewer

                 

About this show:

Big tech poses a double issue regarding tech and kids and family concerns. 

No1. For Parents trying to learn practical skills about parenting and caring in the age of so much technology and now AI, we’re often very quickly scared to death: The algorithms favour sensationalist, fear-based marketing: the worst of the worst facts get preference over moderate, nuanced skill-building messaging and we tend to then act out of fear when communicating with our kids around tech, instead of curiosity, building trust, teaching boundaries and validating their interests with their safety in mind. 

No2. For Kids, the algorithms can serve sensational, sexual or violent content that they’re not ready for and don’t know how to deal with in a healthy way, often sometimes feeling shame or breeding secrecy over what they’ve discovered or private conversations they’ve been invited to. 

We need to figure out how to be better flashlights for their spotlight minds, and Dr Jocelyn Brewer is back on the podcast to help us take a deep breath and get really good at it. 

We cover:

  • Gaming/Gaming styles and connection and community green/red flags
  • Tech usage and how we talk about it with our kids (pro tip: WITH, not AT for starters!)
  • Our fears around risk can create a win/lose battle where no one wins. 
  • Social media – we’re consuming a product, NOT the effort behind it. Kids don’t realise. 
  • DMs/Messaging and navigating communication and kids knowing how to deal with tough things friends go through (SO good!) 
  • Escalation – communication, content, sensationalism in algorithms. 
  • AI and the way forward with the pervasive amount of synthetic content now being generated and shared. 

Share it far and wide – I haven’t spoken to a single parent or teacher who hasn’t got concerns over some of these topics, and we need more practical skill building, not more fear and denial.

Connect with Jocelyn on Instagram @digital_nutrition

 

Alexx Stuart

Founder of Low Tox Life and the Low Tox movement

Join me on Insta @lowtoxlife

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Questions we explore in the show:

    1. Finding the nutritional aspects of digital in an age of “Everything digital is toxic” books… creating a healthy dialogue with our kids. (This is essentially a recap on the messages from chat #1 which I’ll reference for people to go back to and explore that boundary setting/teaching digital nutrition subject in our new chat intro) 
    2. Safety is a huge topic at the moment – Red flags from the social and predatorial perspectives and best ways to monitor our kid’s online time and stay the adult in the online ‘room’ while also giving them the freedom to ‘play and explore’. What’s a healthy chat to regularly have to ‘take stock and check in’ while striking a balance with trust, especially in teens? 
    3. Anxiety and the rise in teen mental health diagnoses/challenges. What do we know in the research about just how much social/games/screen time is implicated/linked? 
    4. Is part of the mental health struggle due to perhaps seeing super cool, perfect cooking videos or perfect songs, stunts, highly edited stuff and then the kid goes to try similar, realises it’s hard, and thinks they’re the problem? 
    5. What the facts are from excessive time on screens and dopamine issues, to what being exposed to social media too young might effect downstream…
    6. A lot of us want to raise good thinkers, but it can quickly become obvious that short form reels and YouTube clips can not only create a bit of laziness with the high dopamine nature of them all, but also with the “Oi, you have to learn to back up an interesting/fun fact with actual knowledge if someone asks you a follow up question” type thing. 
    7. AI – gah – what to say/how to navigate this brave new world and where we were once worried about simple things like photoshopping thigh gaps on models in magazines, now we have to worry about filter enhancements and AI tools that literally mean we’re seeing either enhanced, or altogether not-real people online – HELP!

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Thank you to this month’s show sponsor for helping you make your low tox swaps easier:

 

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Be sure to join me on Instagram @lowtoxlife and tag me with your shares and AHAs of this week’s episode.

 

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About Dr Jocelyn Brewer

Jocelyn Brewer is a Burwood-based psychologist and cyberpsychology researcher, who spent over 15 years in the NSW Dept of Education as a high school social sciences teacher and school counsellor.

She founded Digital Nutrition in 2013 as a proactive, positive technology use philosophy to help us wrangle devices. She speaks, writes and educates on how to stay human in a digitally-colonised, AI-obsessed world. 

 

Connect with Jocelyn on the following platforms:

Instagram: @digital_nutrition

Facebook: @DigiNutrition

Website: www.jocelynbrewer.com/digital-nutrition

 

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More about this month’s sponsors:

Thank you to this month’s sponsors for partnering with our show and helping you make your swaps with their special offer:

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Title show track, by LIOR.

Love the podcast music? You will hear excerpts from Lior’s track “Caught Up”  – go check it out on iTunes or Spotify if you want to hear the whole song or album, Scattered Reflections. Co-written with Cameron Deyell, it’s a great song and I love the reflective energy of it – perfect for the show, right? Enjoy. Lior is always touring, so do check out his website. It is wonderful to hear him sing live, trust me.

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If you would love reading like me or you just simply want to go through the full transcript, you can check below.

[Alexx] (0:00 – 6:25)

Tech and kids, is there a middle ground? Is there a way for us to do it at all and better? We explore that with a psychologist in today’s show.

Hello and welcome to the Low Tox Life podcast. I’m Alexx Stewart, your host and founder of the Low Tox Movement. I am so happy you’ve tuned in today.

If you are a parent, a carer, a teacher, someone who’s just interested in this ever-evolving at warp speed tech social AI landscape, I have invited back one of my favourite people to follow in this space to the show for a second time and Jocelyn Brewer is wonderful. She, I feel, is a calm voice in a world that often tries to terrify us into thinking something is all awful or something that tries to poo-poo all the people saying that things are awful and Jocelyn is just a great middle grounder. Her business, Digital Nutrition, was founded in 2013 so she’s been at this a while.

She’s a psychologist and cyber psychology researcher and she spent over 15 years in the New South Wales Department of Education as a high school social sciences teacher and school counsellor so she knows kids and she knows tech very well. She’s determined to be a proactive positive technology voice while we all grapple with some of the darker aspects coming through in both the research and in what we’re seeing perhaps in our kids and how it’s affecting them and how it might be affecting our ability to play and create space and boredom and all the creativity that comes from those old school 80s 90s things that a lot of us got to grow up with that can be a real struggle to kind of see this default to the phone while of course we’re grappling with our own often unspoken being drawn to the phone as soon as nothing’s happening. So it’s a really tricky landscape.

It’s a very digitally colonised landscape now and of course we add to that AI and in today’s show we are looking at a number of things. I throw in a few practical examples from my own chats with my teen and Jocelyn is a parent as well so and of course has teen clients in her practice. So it’s just a really great discussion to have a think about how we might be able to do tech positively within boundaries and yet giving options as to how to interact with technology healthily to our kids.

Jocelyn’s just so great at that. So I’ll hook into that in a little minute. Of course I am so grateful to our wonderful club members.

If you haven’t thought about joining the club yet you have over 50 archive ebooks and master classes in the archive resources now and we do wonderful things with show guests. Actually we’ve got a great Q&A with Jocelyn in there where members attend live and can sort of bring those topics that we do on the show to life. Women’s health, parenting, all the things we talk about, gardening even.

We’ve had a couple of great ones with the PIP magazine editor and so it’s just such a beautiful space. $49 Australian a year which I think for the people across all the ponds is about 30 US dollars or 30 euro and there are a ton of perks. 50% off all courses, a beautiful membership group but also a space to ask questions if you’re not on Facebook.

By the way I’m jealous. And some wonderful perks from beautiful low tox brands that help you out all year round or just to try something new if you’ve been making your swaps. So head to the show notes or to lowtoxlife.com, hit the explore tab. The club is right there and it’s a wonderful way to bring the podcast topics to life and create community in this really transient tech world where we’re sort of consuming things at 30 second intervals. I really crave something a bit deeper and if you do too it’s a really encouraging space. Our show sponsors, we have all the details in the show notes but if you’re an Aussie you have of course your 10% off AusClimate appliances and they’ve now just added heaters to the range.

I’ve had a couple of questions around the heaters being called smart heaters and being Wi-Fi Bluetooth enabled. They aren’t if you don’t get the app so don’t worry it can stay lo-fi it can stay just a plug-in and play heater. If you want it to they’ve found a way for them to use less energy which is great and your 10% with LOWTOXLIFE code works across the new heating range as well as the dehumidifiers and Winix air purifiers.

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Jocelyn how are you?

[Dr Jocelyn] (6:26 – 6:29)

I am pretty well I’m a little bit chilly that’s why I’m a bit rugged up today.

[Alexx] (6:29 – 7:10)

I know as we record this it is rainy, it is cold and we’re talking about something that can feel a bit dark and cold for a lot of parents out there which is tech and our kids and I want to ask you to just recap then I guess give us a bit of a quick 101 on as we live in this world where we’re bombarded with the everything digital is toxic messages. How do we create that healthy dialogue with our kids? What are some of the simplest most fundamental things that we should be ticking off our sort of lists I guess?

[Dr Jocelyn] (7:11 – 9:35)

Sure look I run with the food analogy not the drug analogy when it comes to humans and technology because I think it’s one we hopefully by now have a handle on that we can think about how are we you know snacking sometimes binging and feasting on technology and what are the virtual vitamins and what are the things that we actually are looking for within technology and what are the ultra processed foods and the ultra processed foods right now is really the deep fake and the misinformation and disinformation and being able to identify that know that it’s probably going to show up but kind of it’s kind of like a sushi train let that slip on by and not not engaging with it. So I mean look ultimately my work is specifically around the habits to do with how we use screens so when I talk about digital nutrition it’s really a philosophy where we think about what’s our relationship there so that we can live well and be connected without needing to go on digital detoxes where we swear ourselves off but don’t do any of the cognitive change that’s required to actually look at why is it so easy to pick up our phone and have a cheeky check when we’re standing in the supermarket queue or you know wherever we are because it fills those those gaps so easily and we really need to pull ourselves back and where my work has really changed is from it being about kids kids kids kids kids to us as the adults with hopefully a fully developed prefrontal cortex starting to role model and pull ourselves back out you know like really checking on our own habits because I think post-pandemic we really haven’t found those those boundaries with technology got so porous we really don’t have that clear off switch for some people they don’t need it they’re integrators rather than segmenters so they don’t segment their work but really looking at what do we need what are our unique diets and then what’s our family kind of nutrition plan so possibly it in a nutshell what we consume and then our relationship with those devices and finding you know diverse ways of consuming online so that’s not about you know even even the types of games we play I think we get into the digital hot chips of Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite and knowing that there’s a lot of other games that we can play and playing them together as a family might be a simple tweak that we did there.

[Alexx] (9:36 – 10:40)

Yeah my son just saved up for a PS5 and that was a month-long project it was a really great exercise in delayed gratification and there’s one controller so I can’t even race the little Grand Prix game that he’s got with him which I actually quite fancy doing I remember loving those sorts of games when I was a kid but yes I really feel that I don’t like the aloneness of the single controller even because it’s not even the option to bring a friend into that or so I’ve put that on my I wonder if he listens to my podcast but that’s in his birthday list because I think technology has got to at least be social if we’re going to spend a lot of time on it in in the sense of hanging out and quite useful I’m finding for teenage boys who want to talk so much less it can actually be a really nice way to still bond but like on a common thing and not have to talk so much absolutely so the

[Dr Jocelyn] (10:40 – 11:30)

research shows that gaming when you’re gaming side by side in the same room has a lot more kind of pro-social benefits and general benefits than when you’re gaming alone in your say bedroom and hopefully when he gets the PS5 you’ve got a whole tech use agreement around where where and when he can use that and all those sorts of things oh it’s in the living room there’s no it’s not in the what do these things end up in the bedroom because they make lots of noise and you’re really loud and talking to your friends and we want everything to be simple and clean and neat but when you’re playing yeah alone against people that you may or in fact may not know that’s where things get a little bit tricky as well trying to check that the person that they say they are actually is who they are yeah playing playing side by side is the best way to play according to some of the research

[Alexx] (11:30 – 11:35)

oh that’s great okay instinct was right on that one i’m already feeling like i’ve got to run on

[Dr Jocelyn] (11:35 – 11:42)

the board go and get that second third fourth however many controllers you need to to make

[Alexx] (11:42 – 13:06)

that an embodied thing as well so yeah absolutely yeah so interesting and um one of the things that i’ve just picked up on there is the gaming when you are alone and connecting into conversations with other people and that can obviously be a bit of a scary landscape for say gen x parents and gen y who just like that we that was not even an option even if you did like video games uh growing up i i loved nintendo um and was the proud completer of ninja turtles and uh what else was there super mario of course um loved them i you know and being neuro spicy i kind of get why that was so fun that completion and achievement aspect of those sorts of simple games um but in this landscape as you say we could be talking to complete strangers online who could have fake profiles pretend they’re a kid who goes to school like a couple of suburbs away and be sexual groomers like that is a reality uh in today’s gaming landscape how can we navigate that with our kids productively without because i feel like in teen living it can be quite easy to arc up against an inquiry from a parent that’s well-meaning

[Dr Jocelyn] (13:06 – 17:53)

yeah it’s a really tricky one because part of what teams are doing is trying to be independent and know everything right they’ve got this little uh miner’s torch on their head and they think i can see ahead of me whereas we have the floodlights and we can look out for that ripple effect and spot the blind spots that they just don’t have yet so sometimes it feels like oh i wouldn’t be like you know i wouldn’t let that happen to me um or you know i know these people or why would anyone want to do that they just actually cannot conceptualize that anyone would want to have nefarious mates right um and so part of that is how we have conversations about risks and opportunities and how we set the tone around safety both psychologically as well physically and you know everybody’s raving and i’m talking a lot about jonathan hate’s new book which some some of which i struggle with other parts of it are absolutely true around we have made playgrounds so super safe that they’re boring quite frankly but digital playgrounds are a wild west that as parents we are not interested a lot of the time interested in knowing about interested in understanding so and no bandwidth i will add oh absolutely right like it’s just like oh please i just don’t have the space in my brain to work out all of the things that you have learned from these games with zero input from adults which is part of why i think we find it quite challenging it’s like wow you don’t even need me so because you didn’t need me to learn the game you don’t need me to kind of do some of those higher order thinking skills like look out for your your your safety and and you know vulnerabilities in those spaces so it’s this really interesting um dance and also a misunderstanding of yes they can use technology really easily but they don’t have those social emotional skills that only time and unfortunately practice sometimes can give you so it’s the practice of having a heart broken that helps you be better in relationships it’s the practice of having a you know a friendship miscommunication that helps you be better at friendships now we don’t want kids to learn by having awful experiences like that in online spaces so it’s yeah it’s a very very complex one that um again like when when we talk about this sometimes people like oh you didn’t give me one single strategy i’m like no because every family is different in terms of how we would approach a particular um problem or issue as it came up for kids who you know might have autism spectrum disorder they might be really using those online spaces as one of their only sources of connection sometimes parents initial like reaction is to then ban it or take it away and if that’s your source of connection and it’s removed that can actually be really really detrimental if it’s not replaced with appropriate kinds of connection and belonging so we have to you know have to be really careful then how we approach addressing some of the exposure to risks and how we address some of the ways that we get that you know balance inverted commas balance i don’t sometimes i like to use the word blend because i don’t think you can be perfectly balanced to try and then come up with what is a way to mitigate the risks and i talk about an app that um sometimes it’s you know has some glitches but it’s called trust and trusting young people and learning to build that trust and um renee brown talks beautifully about the way that trust is like a bank account we’re constantly making deposits around it um to build that and you know it starts so early if you’ve got a kid who’s disconnected it’s you can get that connection back to really hope that they come to you and know that they’re not going to get in trouble if something’s bad’s gone on online yeah a hundred percent that’s why kids don’t come to us because they’re like i know you’re going to take the phone away and the phone is like more important to me than the family pet and you know we’ve been in situations where we’ve seen kids and we’re like sweetie wouldn’t why didn’t you come and talk to us about that and she was like oh because i swore in the messages and i didn’t want to get in trouble for swearing and we’re like that’s the least of our concerns right now their little brains are focused on this thing they did wrong not this imminent threat of you were just about to go and meet up with somebody who actually wasn’t who they said they were so that’s it as i said just a really simple example of how their framing um yeah can miss some of the problems and just can’t imagine as i say that those floodlights we can see the potential problems they can’t see the problem until it’s right on their doorstep because they

[Alexx] (17:53 – 20:15)

don’t have that wiring to think about it yeah hundred percent and can i run through something that i’ve instigated uh when i found something out in my own mother son relationship and this was actually a real world situation not a digital one where uh my son’s massively into coins or adhd kids so not anymore but he was and uh so was a uh person who um in our community uh sells a magazine on the street outside walworth’s and that’s their way of earning their living and it’s you know amazing but he’s also into coins they develop a friendship uh then he says he can get a certain coin for seb uh what’s the phone number but i completely shut off that whole they’ve you know we blocked the number and had the chat and what i said was do you know did you get introduced to this person by someone we know and trust do you know where they live do you know what uh their friends are like do you know uh what school they went to where they grew up or like do you have any context to tell you this person is trustworthy other than your shared joy over this particular topic and he was like no and i said so context and points of context for me build a trust account with someone right so like i was introduced by a friend or my parents introduced me to him uh and then like boom boom boom boom boom and if you don’t have any context points that you can add up to say trust is appropriate then that is not someone we exchange a phone number with that’s right exactly was that like i’m just putting my situation out there so that we’ve got some real world stuff um and i feel like in the digital space it could be a similar framework almost like if you’re just chatting to someone online no matter what they’re saying the only thing you have in common is this game that you both like to play that’s it so there’s no context to build trust outside of that that’s

[Dr Jocelyn] (20:15 – 21:28)

right but again it’s the context of what you’re doing so if all you’re doing is playing a game you show up and you play this game you’re like hey thanks that was a great game see you later that’s it doesn’t matter it’s fine have that introduction it’s the escalation and the deepening of that connection and most of us want that deepening of connection most of us don’t need more acquaintances we want the people that we can go deep quickly with right we want that whatever that might look like so in the context of this person maybe there too is a way that both of them could have their needs met with you as that kind of scaffold or the mediator really to say hey he’s he we’re not going to give you his number but we could talk about this special coin maybe for his birthday and then you can model to him how to set some of those boundaries because what i’m hearing you say is basically we like this person this person you know has a different life to us they have a role in our community we want to actually feel that kind of connection and trust but we also want to have really clear boundaries and that kind of feels icky as intuitively to you as a mom where you don’t want to blow up that connection but you

[Alexx] (21:28 – 21:46)

also don’t want to go to that next level a hundred percent so it’s not about oh we don’t talk to that person anymore we don’t buy the magazine we still religiously buy the magazine yeah but it’s um yeah for me it was the escalation of um connection that was like a big red flag because we didn’t

[Dr Jocelyn] (21:46 – 23:11)

have enough context yeah exactly right and and so similarly playing you know in a game or whatever that might be fine but when somebody starts to ask you more about your life where they’re building a picture of you and you’re probably telling the truth because you’re a kid and you don’t think that that means anything where and that person can be feeding you fibs uh that’s where it does get a bit tricky so i mean look the message here too is that within most games you can play modifications where you can only play with people that are invited in there are lots of security features and functions at so many levels of actually you know in the game within the modification within you know um i mean when we’re talking about parental uh controls it can be on your wi-fi on your usp there’s so many ways that we can actually put some kind of shark nets can you talk specifically about what some of those are look it’s a bit techie and it’s a bit dry to be honest because there’s so many ways that it can roll because you could be on a range of different internet service providers you could be on ps5 you could be on you know so many different consoles playing so many different games um it’s you you kind of the this is where google is really really helpful because you can go and literally um you know look up how do i do these certain things

[Alexx] (23:11 – 23:24)

yeah okay the other good old-fashioned internet search on setting up some parental parameters on whatever it is you’re concerned about is free and able to be found yes and so what i say today

[Dr Jocelyn] (23:24 – 24:15)

might then get updated tomorrow because many of the the platforms including something like tiktok actually has really great parental controls no one talks about that but they do if you know how to use them um the e-safety office has a page all about parental controls and that’s probably the most up-to-date place but again if you go directly to i want to know on this version of minecraft what to do or on this you know playstation whatever number we’re up to now etc so yeah it is you’ve got to tame your technology and get it working for you and that simple thing like turn off those notifications right really know how to use focus time if you’re on iphone or there’s different you know again millions of different phones but they all have generally a very similar set of tools that really help you control your time and what gets through to you at different points

[Alexx] (24:16 – 25:07)

great to know um so when it comes to um escalation what are some of your tips for having a chat i mean i know i shared that particular situation but like building literacy into our kids when as you said before they don’t they can’t even conceive of some of the evil that could be done or could be intended in some of these interactions and so that in itself creates a big blind spot so how do we not terrify them with something that’s very unlikely to happen like we have to be real here it is still a minority in terms of it actually happening um while also making them go oh i’m gonna talk to my parents about that that doesn’t look right

[Dr Jocelyn] (25:07 – 26:05)

like so this is a little bit about um tuning into what you notice and getting better at noticing some of the signals that when we’re in these really kind of highly sensory like fast-paced dynamic um worlds if you’re playing a game you don’t have a whole different kind of hard drive just for monitoring for predators and fact-checking people um and again our like you know floodlight system goes to trying to pick that all up and as women sometimes comes out in what i call the naggy voice and i get young people i always kind of try and help young people to to um reframe when they’re hearing their mother nag or their father nag whoever is parenting them what that actually is is them saying i love you and i want you to have the best life and be safe so and also if you just did the thing the first time then they wouldn’t have to say it seven times that’s also

[Alexx] (26:07 – 26:12)

oh i feel like we’re getting a uh kid master class by just adding that little cheeky in

[Dr Jocelyn] (26:12 – 28:49)

you could just do that right so don’t get me wrong i don’t come at all from like oh parents shouldn’t nag we absolutely need to communicate our concerns but we need to communicate it in a way that they’re not going to roll their eyes and go oh that’s not going to happen or you don’t know anything because quite frankly we don’t sometimes no we don’t play in those spaces um so part of it can be just to have like the check-ins when it’s not hitting the fan or there’s not some awful headline and we’re not kind of blowing it up to make it like hey i just want to check in that you’re this bad thing isn’t happening to you and they’re like no leave me alone and because there’s that sense of like not trusting them there’s again that not that sometimes stubborn to no sense of not wanting a parent to be right and we want to be really careful it’s not about being right or wrong it’s about your safety your well-being you having the best of both worlds and us doing our jobs right and our job is to have as much of a sense of the safety in those online worlds as we do when they’re at a gymnastics class or at the park or rock climbing or bmxing or whatever that physical thing is and i think there’s that big disconnect where we don’t really know like if your kid goes um bmx riding or there was some new kind of i don’t know activity that kids could do you’d be like okay well what is it and how much does it cost and am i signing signing a waiver of your life away right you go horse riding you send sign this big long waiver um you would understand the risks of what they were engaging in um whereas in the online world we don’t we kind of just say oh that’s your thing go play just and and we hope for the best and and i bring it back sometimes to books we wouldn’t say oh booking oh i don’t i don’t know much about that can you just do 20 minutes of booking over there be really quiet and you know don’t do it in your bedroom because i heard that’s bad we’d say like what are you reading a kid reading the anarchist cookbook is probably not okay yeah yeah yeah so if we can reframe it into just putting aside that we judge screens and especially video games a lot and we need to actually rewire that a bit and kind of come and meet them at their level um and be curious and even if you have to fake that then that is a strategy to support them be a little bit more um just feel more empowered and autonomous in those spaces like what they’re into matters yes exactly i remember that from our

[Alexx] (28:49 – 29:03)

first chat and that really stuck with me about being interested in their world rather than judgy and trying to um belittle or dismiss their world um if that’s what they’re into and we

[Dr Jocelyn] (29:03 – 29:53)

probably had an experience of that ourselves i will never forget my mom used to hay under the red hot chili peppers ever that song came on she would say oh this moany guy why blah blah blah and she was really like supportive of a lot of stuff that i wanted to do she would take me to alternative nation or home bake or whatever sometimes she’s even come along but you know like there were parts where she would just say i don’t like this thing you’re doing and that sticks with me so if the thing that you’re doing is like six hours on the weekend that’s a lot of time that you’re disconnecting from your kid rather than being like so what did you build today in minecraft how’s that going yeah tell me what the best thing that happened on the internet today was the same way we would i say what was the best thing that you thought you did in your

[Alexx] (29:53 – 31:30)

soccer match or you know whatever activity you’re in yeah um and that kind of brings me to big tech social media now not gaming um because one of the things that my son absolutely loves is asian cooking youtube and so i have found myself saying what was your favorite recipe that you’re excited to try to try and bring it into real life so you’re not just watching someone else live their best life on the internet and cooking delicious things but you might actually make this and he does now it’s amazing school holidays are now what are we having for lunch sweetie and i have some beautiful asian something uh waiting for me it’s incredible um but i had to get involved with that to help him see the pathway between just being passive and watching and actually bringing that interest into the real life context and what i found really fascinating and this has probably got to do with dopamine pathways was how mean to himself he was about stuffing up in the kitchen i’m like dude these guys are cutting these reels to within an inch of recognition of what the original file is cutting out every little redo every little slightly burnt steak no that’s gone we’re going to do it again it’s not going to be good for the video and like you’re not seeing any of that happen so you think that people can just magically cook amazingly and you’re the problem and you suck for not being able to cook it takes work yeah yeah so the media literacy behind that right

[Dr Jocelyn] (31:30 – 31:37)

is to be able to say what goes into being an influencer a content creator at that level

[Alexx] (31:37 – 31:54)

i did and yeah i did imagine with you know they’d be dancing they’d be um like music’s they’d be you know you think oh my god i can’t do the routine but those girls that put that together spent like their entire summer holidays that’s right for that one 90 second clip yeah and like

[Dr Jocelyn] (31:54 – 32:21)

beyonce spent nine months rehearsing for her like hell of a long three minute super bowl performance or whatever you know so we don’t see what goes on we consume the product right so we don’t actually want to consume the whole thing where we watch all day long how it took them you know 50 000 takes and all of those tiny tiny things are like oh this is boring yeah well like we say about like

[Alexx] (32:21 – 32:39)

sorry master chef but honestly if you sit through a whole episode of master chef you’re like we could have done this in five minutes like why do we need to rehash this from different angle and more scary music about the stuff up and like you’re talking to a person you know my my form

[Dr Jocelyn] (32:39 – 33:15)

of adhd is cooking is a waste of time i’m there like throw throw four things in a pot put it on the boil maybe chuck some sauce on and i that’s my cooking so um yes absolutely there’s there’s so many ways and we this is media literacy to understand that what we consume is a product that has been finely tuned and you can have an amazing career being an editor all of those sorts of things to produce those products but we cannot compare ourselves to again probably chefs it’s like mate did i miss the part where you did a three-year apprenticeship and had a 20-year career

[Alexx] (33:15 – 33:21)

and then right and then hired a video editor to sit there all day making you look as good as you

[Dr Jocelyn] (33:21 – 33:43)

possibly could right so really zooming out and go okay what what was behind that and we used to do that really well with some of the um kind of beauty um campaigns or we’d zoom out and go okay well what went into this vogue shoot we’ll look at all of the different little bits and pieces look at the tweaking and the the photoshopping and all of that sort of stuff so would you say it’s a

[Alexx] (33:43 – 34:07)

parent’s job to help pull the lens back and and take them through all the different parts like if you’ve got a kid who’s watching dance videos and feeling like they’re a shit dancer or the cooking or you know whatever the skill based kind of or trick something you do perfect like they probably did that 4,000 times before the tennis ball landed right in the tube after bouncing

[Dr Jocelyn] (34:07 – 35:22)

off the wall like six times and there probably is like the bloopers reel of what it took to get there um so is it a parent’s job i think it’s a parent’s job to ask the questions to create critical thinking it’s not a parent’s job to necessarily say did you know all of these things and like be the you know knowledge holder but to actually be able to ask the questions that then spark critical thinking or ways of thinking that help them question and this is there’s two sides to this because if they learn to question that they’ll learn to question you and it’s not about not questioning us it’s usually the tone in which they do that and so you know like if we’ve got to be careful because it’s like yes question all of that but still do what i say so you know and like my seven-year-old is really good at going yeah but mom you do blah blah blah um so you know and that came in a generation ago gosh if i did that to my dad there there would be hell to pay there would yeah so parenting has changed a lot we have to be curious not furious i think is something justin coulson says um quite yeah i agree and it’s almost like parenting

[Alexx] (35:23 – 35:45)

uh mimics the web 2.0 like when the conversation started to go two ways i almost feel like the parent child conversation has um started to go two ways a lot more as well and you know there’s a lot of good in that i genuinely believe that we should not just take what our parents say for face value but it’s also the job of parents to know what we know we’re better at seeing and

[Dr Jocelyn] (35:45 – 37:33)

knowing from lived experience absolutely right we we have to put those safety boundaries in place and the conversation is always open if it’s respectful right so i’m constantly saying is i can i can tell that you want to question me on something but i’m wondering if that way of speaking to me is going to get you there and just like okay damn i’ve got a psych mom right yeah yeah it does it totally does um but but it’s not and it’s all about can i communicate my needs clearly and that helps her set boundaries as well right it’s all about modeling and um you know i’ve got the three m’s of digital nutrition which has just become four with modeling because the the role of modeling is so so important because we’re social creatures that’s why we watch master chef that’s why kids watch each other gaming is because they’re social learning actually want to be the best they possibly can in that game so they go and watch the best flag um so that who we’re modeling and what we’re modeling is of most importance right now um because there’s so much information to consume we need to be able to identify the information that aligns to our values and to be able to some degree identify if it’s absolute god’s wallet right and the whole fake news misinformation disinformation and malinformation huge conversation um especially as we head into you know the u.s election and i think there’s 60 different nation states that are going to federal elections this year and we could actually be one of them we don’t know we hope not but you know thinking about that we we really do i mean this is really shaping democracy at this point in ways that we’ve had a few election cycles but this is gonna be quite a big one yeah

[Alexx] (37:33 – 41:54)

um and i want to talk about ai but i just want to stay on social for a little bit longer because the other thing i wanted to bring up especially with youtube and it’s something obviously uh i understood more deeply when i read johan harry’s book stolen focus when he explained the um escalation of sensationalism uh in the algorithm of youtube and i use it like probably about three years ago i couldn’t figure out why my son with the way he grew up in our household was so obsessed with uh nick kyrgios as a tennis player now look there are some things i actually love about nick i think he’s great for the sport in a few respects but i genuinely believe that one should also model sportsmanship if one is an elite athlete it is your job to be a good example for kids and if you have psychological work that you need to do to be better at that aspect of being an elite sports person who earns millions of dollars you should be doing that work sorry so i bring it up because i was like but he knows all of that stuff is wrong and the throwing of the rackets and the dirt and i was seeing him my son have issues on the tennis court when things got tight and tough and he started to tantrum and and i was like wow what is this so once i then read that tech chapter on how the youtube algorithm was explained i then researched it independently to make sure that you know it held up because it’s just me being a nerd and then i thought let’s just try starting with roger federer’s top top 24 hands on youtube and then see on the side what’s suggested so we get roger’s top 24 hands to start with then in the suggestions we get um biggest rallies of all time so i click that one we watch that they were huge it was fantastic then i see a suggestion roger fights the umpire and i’m like oh that’s weird i’ve never seen roger have a hissy fit uh on court certainly not in later part of the career so we watch that and then i see nick kyrgios turns up so it’s i i tested it out in a sport that i know really well so i know to look for what escalation might look like in that context every single time we ended up with nick having a hissy fit on the court every single time by fourth or fifth suggestions um and i was like whoa this brings me to talk about someone that a lot of parents have an issue with and i know even really serious issues someone like andrew tate for example uh you know we’re all working really hard to raise respectful dudes those of us who are parents of boys and being healthy in their masculine as well as healthy in their respect for women and girls and a guy like this comes along um and i feel like some of it is in part because we’re not recognizing that in the rising of one group women for example feeling able to do all the things and have access to all the things there’s an inadvertent dark force that then plays to the sensitivities of the other group that might feel like that’s a threat and then you know we see it all the time see it in politics someone who hasn’t studied politics might not see it but i did european political science degree so i see it plenty uh and i think we need to navigate what that pathway is and how we can get a bit more involved in what they’re actually watching in these short form youtube clips because now that hopefully parents who might not have read johan’s book on this um or explored this might start to become a bit more aware of what those suggested viewing areas are and how quickly your kid can end up on something that is really toxic

[Dr Jocelyn] (41:55 – 42:02)

there are so many pieces of what you just said i know i talked for a while there but i just wanted

[Alexx] (42:02 – 42:13)

to again paint a personal picture of like having this lived experience because often we just talk info and then people don’t know what the transformation or the x or the um uh the investigation piece might look like in their own life

[Dr Jocelyn] (42:13 – 44:42)

yeah yeah and i love it because you were there to go okay let’s look at this and actually call it out as you search and go here’s more sensation here’s more sensation are you sure would you like some more sensation with your sensation and what that does and how you feel so you’re there uh as the guide right to say oh let’s let’s look at this with that critical lens it’s actually not about avoiding it oh we can’t have any sensation don’t go there it’s about going oh look at that watch that does that align to the stuff that matters does that align to who we are as a family is that the kind of tennis player you want to be because partly like you want to see it so that you can push against it some of the kind of best skills i have are a reaction to people in my life that i do not want to emulate um but and then to bring in that actual role model of saying well here’s a better way of doing it sure you could have a hissy fit and you can look like a silly really you know into the whole world but then there’s this person and this person holds our values a lot more that is a conversation um that i don’t think enough parents uh have have time for or even have their own awareness to and their own kind of as you say they’re not doing the work um and that for us is mostly quite expensive sometimes like it’s it’s you know not everyone can run off to a psychologist that is available and affordable uh in order to do that sometimes you know lots and lots of work i i do that work i you know i do it and i sit there and i go off to my psychologist and do that work as well so um then there’s the kind of tape question and and i think underneath that is a lot of um i don’t want to say little lost boys because that’s kind of infantilizing almost but to say that there’s not enough strong meaning and belonging and shepherding of that healthy masculinity uh in society we uh something that’s kind of coming up for me at the moment quite regularly and i i went for a walk this morning and the park my local park is in a bit of disrepair we don’t want kids to be on their screens but then we give them nowhere to be embodied especially teenagers they can’t go to the mall and hang out because then they’re more rats they can’t you know hang out in in certain places because that’s loitering we actually have quite a disdain in society for teenagers and teenage boys i’m so glad you said that because it’s so true we need to give them cool places to be and we don’t and and i’ve had conversations with the premier of new south wales about the need to provide basketball courts facilitated spaces you cannot just kind of give kids basketball courts you need to then go and have people who are facilitating things so that the basketball hoops don’t just get broken because that’s invariably what kids are going to do when they’re using things things break and it’s not their fault but we don’t really like teenagers right especially as i say teenage boys with their addicts if they’re on their screens and they’re you know doing the wrong thing but then like literally school holidays where the teenage boys go they hopefully go to each other’s houses they jump on their bikes they go around they do whatever are they but i don’t see enough of that especially in inner cities and big cities that might you know rural areas have the whole other different set of challenges as well but ultimately we’re really in a pickle with our attitude to

[Alexx] (45:51 – 46:00)

young people yeah we are i always say just invite anyone anytime yeah and the risks the physical

[Dr Jocelyn] (46:00 – 46:37)

risk stuff is really interesting too like i’ve worked with a school in new zealand that when they were looking at reducing and banning phones they did it in such a brilliant way they built a bmx bike track and they built a rock climbing wall now they had a huge kerfuffle over all of the risk and danger that kids were going to be placed in and they had to literally show the psychological and kind of long-term impact on minds versus the risk of somebody you know breaking an arm um and and it’s just to me so fascinating how uh that becomes yeah out of whack in my mind

[Alexx] (46:37 – 47:10)

yeah yeah it’s so true isn’t it we’ve we’ve we’ve safety-proofed play areas even for our little kids to within an inch like you know you don’t even have monkey bars anymore half the time because someone might break a bone and then but like someone might break their mental health sitting in it on a screen because they’re safe at home and that is a real big shift that we need to make societally how do we do that wow that’s huge really so and look how do we do that

[Dr Jocelyn] (47:10 – 48:44)

in a you know and again i live in new south wales i’ll talk about new south wales in a state that is as of the 13th of may i think it is you can literally build six to eight stories across 31 different train stations um and you know suddenly we have this higher higher higher density um living but no planning for schools health or green spaces community spaces youth facilities anything like that so um it’s it’s such a fascinating kind of conversation what i think personally we can do is we can get um and there’s different programs that things that come to mind are duke of ed so some schools run duke of ed programs there’s also and this is look this comes with a bit of a caveat is australian army cadets i was an army cadet um i went off to the the 203 regional cadet unit in dundas on friday afternoons for a big chunk of time it was basically girl guys with boys which is what i mean perfect at 16 um you know you got to do all sorts of things you went on um camp and orientation orienteering and lived in hoochies and did all these kind of fun embodied practical novel stuff with very clear parameters around who you saluted to when you know certain people walked into the room um there was this beautiful mix of um adventure and discipline and yeah it probably sounds really strange coming from me like go and do army cadets but actually maybe consider going and doing army cadets lots of the young women that i work with actually

[Alexx] (48:44 – 49:16)

um are a part of their cadet units so good and i yeah i’m so glad our school does duke of ed because that we were right on on that train when that was offered and they just came back from their bronze journey and had to navigate their way up the northern walk and i just think that is like he he had some low moments but he came back and he said oh my gosh like that was so hard but at the same time i’m so glad i did that it was so good and the resilience in that right

[Dr Jocelyn] (49:16 – 50:27)

i think as again as a society we are so scared of feeling bad we don’t want to have any negative affect emotion it’s like no don’t feel bad ever happiness is the aim and actually that has sold us up the wrong path because we have to be present and able to tolerate some levels of appropriate distress we have to be able to have crappy moments my kid was like really kicking off this morning because we don’t have tv before school and school started back and she was begging me and i had to be okay like i was really dysregulated to be honest i had to take a much longer walk than usual because i had to get myself back online because her distress i had to go high while she went through that to help her co-regulate to hold a really firm boundary and say we just don’t do this this is you you will thank me and it will be okay um but i gotta go through the little wild wads with you right now um and then you’re fine right and and he came back from jucaverde he had some low moments it was probably cold um and wet and whatever and then at the end when we zoom out and look at the

[Alexx] (50:27 – 52:09)

big context it was brilliant and it was so worth it so worth it yeah so instagram is the next thing i want to talk about and probably a little peppering of snapchat one that i’m not so okay with because we actually have a boundary around snapchat i just saw some really unhealthy things happening with friends kids who were on it and i thought yeah if you’re not like pestering me every single day to be there and it’s not causing you social distress to not be there and be included because your three best mates are on there then no we’re not going to do that one i’m not going to look at it we’re just not going to have it and uh and and i know though so many parents are dealing with questions around inclusivity and my all my friends have it and therefore why can’t i this came up in the club when i asked our members last night oh i’m talking to jocelyn tomorrow what’s everyone got on their mind and that was a huge thing that came up time and again so where how do we find healthy in the landscape of social connection on socials into the night like let’s just say your three besties are allowed or they’ve found a way to be let’s be honest because that’s often part of it uh and to be on snapchat or insta in or in a whatsapp group even yeah and getting into the night late but you’re not even allowed your phone in your bedroom um what what’s how are we navigating that one jocelyn again like insert

[Dr Jocelyn] (52:09 – 53:51)

whichever cool app and social media platform because again you know that could change tomorrow and you haven’t even said the t word i know sorry yes so there are many my gen x is showing yeah there are many ways that we keep connected and there are many excuses for why you need all of the things to be available all of the hours of all of the days in order to be a good friend and so some of the conversations that i have with again both young people in schools as well as parents and families is around what uh what does being a good friend mean and how can you actually be a good friend if you haven’t had enough sleep right so uh i always bring it back to sleep and and because sleep is just the easiest well-being hack um and it addresses a lot of the concerns that many young people are showing up with because they’re just chronically underslept and they’re consuming too much information so there’s a thing i work with packs instead of contracts so compacts in and we would generally say packs over contracts which is how do we make agreements around what works for our family but also for kids and this is a really like up-leveled one how do kids say oh you know how parents are nagging us about going to bed and using our phones too much maybe they’ve got a point how do we put some agreements in how we use let’s say let’s just call it direct messaging right the dms and the group chat what we do there is we say okay can we make an agreement that if i don’t respond between 10 p.m and 8 a.m i don’t get kicked out of the group right you can’t make me feel bad because my parents have particular rules that are

[Alexx] (53:51 – 54:02)

different to your parents rules right oh i love that and and how young can we be having that conversation i feel like tweens could even be involved in this that you can like my kid has

[Dr Jocelyn] (54:02 – 56:07)

these conversations i literally had this conversation with her friend across the road where we talked about she doesn’t have a phone she certainly doesn’t have a phone that access accesses tiktok when she comes to play at your house i would like not phones not to be out that you guys are just playing can we do that yes no problem in fact to the point that the mum then texted me and said oh they’re going to look at some um crafting videos to play craft is it okay if nora looks at the phone and i was like yes yes app uh trust app activated because nora had said to the mom i’m not allowed to look at things on the phone without an adult present can you check with mom yeah so i’m having those conversations are these conversations cool right doesn’t make you feel like the the most popular girl in the school probably not but again we’re part of what i talked to my kid about is this is going to be good for your brain because your brain is still growing and learning how to be in the world and she she understands that and the more we can talk about the the end game and why we’re doing it not just how we’re doing it and like our fear in that moment or the no in the moment then that helps empower them to understand we’re not just being power trippers right there’s actually more to it um so we can start from tweens and then here’s the other up level for us as parents to call the parents and say hey can i talk to you about this group chat stuff it’s driving me a bit crazy and i’m sure you don’t leave your kid to be online at 2 a.m right but i’m just wondering i’m really curious about are you struggling with this too i’m you know and and name it to tame it hey this feels kind of weird and vulnerable can i have an awful conversation with you about tech all right um and i think beck sparrow talks a little bit about this as well there’s lots of people who talk about like how do we have have just more open conversations and to go back to the 90s like my mom would ring amy west’s mom and say hey are they really going to the hill center dance party or are they who’s picking them up and who’s you know like get the low down there was no like oh i don’t want to i don’t want to

[Alexx] (56:07 – 57:14)

cross boundaries i don’t want to seem like yeah like there’s that a bit and this is the issue with the parent 2.0 where it is the two-way conversation where it is more friend heavy you know uh in today’s day and age and a lot of us can feel that if we think about our own dynamic with our parents versus the dynamic we’ve crafted with our own kids and um and so you you can forget you’ve got to jump in there as the parent and in senior school often we don’t meet naturally the parents like our kids are getting themselves off to school in the bus or whatever and you’re more ships in the night if anything and you see each other at like the one fundraiser and cross each other parent teacher interviewer a quick drop off so like reaching out and having that conversation and and framing it as can i just be a bit awkward and vulnerable just for a second talk about tech maybe you make a new bestie in your adult years because you find out they’re feeling really weird about the whole thing too and i think we forget that we have opportunities to connect with other

[Dr Jocelyn] (57:14 – 58:44)

parents and i see it because it’s all in the mom’s facebook groups that i’m in they’re like hey what do you do about your team doing this and i’m like oh this is so interesting because we’re using technology to facilitate our own learning and our own connection but we’re not we’re and often they’re anonymous due to protecting child’s identity no it’s anonymous due to i don’t want to look like the person who’s too scared to call my kid’s friend’s mom right and say hey can we have a chat i’d really love to connect i really feel alone as a parent i feel like you know all that stuff that we’re feeling um to be able to name it uh again and to go to brennan’s kind of vulnerability stuff there’s so much freedom when we connect the other thing i see in a lot of those parenting forums is i’m really lonely how do i meet people wow oh my goodness like literally and i within my own friendship group i’ve created like a lady folk lunch where i wrote a list of 48 people would that i don’t necessarily have time for one-on-one catch-ups but every two months i walk a table for eight people and invite people to come along and just meet up and that cross-pollinates my friendship groups in such an interesting way that we then you can see all of these connections being made and people just kind of having permission to reconnect with who they are as well which is super fun slightly off what we were talking about but again it kind of comes back to asking for what

[Alexx] (58:44 – 59:06)

and yeah and well i don’t think we went off topic i think what you’re talking about is the opportunity to actually connect and in building your own strong relationships you’re able to then navigate the complexity of parenthood together in the context of this whole tech thing because like most of us didn’t grow up with this level of tech and interaction or influence from it yeah

[Dr Jocelyn] (59:06 – 59:51)

yeah yeah absolutely and so some of that is actually problem solving that your kid can then go and see they see you say oh i’m going out to lunch with my friends this afternoon mum needs time to go and chill out and no you’re not coming and that is a really good identity piece for saying well i you know we’re independent beings and i you know have my own identity and i support myself and i look after myself that’s more my self-care for me is to have time with my mates so there’s a lot of you know again that role modeling that they’re watching us they’re watching us on our phone they’re watching what time we go to bed or what they’re like dealing with our perimenopausal rage that pops out of nowhere i know what is the design of getting

[Alexx] (59:51 – 1:00:08)

tweens and teens to line up with the mum’s perimenopause journey that that is just quite a i like my son and i say oh our brains are both going a bit nuts at the same time like so we’re wearing it together in a in a weird way yeah absolutely and again you know having had

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:00:08 – 1:02:29)

a baby uh quite late you know not that far out of my 40th so you know again a generation ago i’ve been really different um so look it’s it’s all of this i find we focus so much on the technology and it’s actually the technology under our skull and the humanity like in our this sack of skin that we walk around in that if we connect with that then a lot of these i’m not saying big tech will go away i’m not saying there won’t be other issues but i think we kind of some some aspects of what’s happening in the the kind of conversations here is about blaming big tech and while i am not saying oh no they’re fine they were just trying to like make a social media platform where we could like meet people connect yeah i’m saying i i personally cannot fight that machine in this lifetime there are awesome people doing that work and i support and praise that but for me what i can empower people to do is to use their own free will and the information that they can get like you’re describing i went in fact check johan’s kind of ideas there and yes that’s how it’s working and you know you don’t even want to know about how sticky the the tick tock algorithm is which i don’t know if you knew this but it’s a very different algorithm in china where it um promotes pro-educational information so it’s only in the west that it’s got this like sensationalized um algorithm that promotes all that junk so wow probably tells you everything you need to know about tick tock right if you were using the chinese version you are getting all of the like how to study harder how to become you know yeah insert socially a perfect doctor so wow yeah that that you know the more that we can and why my tagline had been you know stay human in a digital world is what it makes us human that is different to the the technology that we’re using because i mean ultimately it was humans mostly men who designed it and you know that leads into a whole big conversations about diversity and tech design and who’s writing the algorithm and creating the algorithms and why we need such diversity and inclusion in those spaces so that um we’re designing ethically which is a whole another conversation but it’s happening

[Alexx] (1:02:29 – 1:03:59)

slowly and so i’m hearing this humanness don’t forget the humanness don’t forget the parent child dynamic don’t forget you’ve got floodlights they’ve got a flashlight and i i love that coming through because i really feel like that’s going to land for people and so when like when a club member shared something she just found out which was chat groups happening after 10 30 when the only reason they they had a pact and the pact was spotify and music helps me go to sleep and then unfortunately the teen brain just gets lured in because it’s just way too luring uh and they end up chatting with their friends late at night we should not be having that conversation with our kid this is what i’m hearing from you correct me if i’m wrong in the context of tech is bad i’m banning it altogether we should be having the conversation about what makes us healthy what makes friendships healthy do you need me to step in and have a chat to the parents if you feel like you’re going to be excluded for not having these late night chats because i can do that even though you’ll probably be mortified but it’ll help uh and would you like me to get you an old school music player if you find it just too hard to avoid your ipad um so that you can still have that on like good music on and you you know um

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:03:59 – 1:04:41)

then we remove that temptation absolutely so it’s about compassion hey you know what i thought your brain could overcome that temptation but that temptation is too great it’s like the marshmallow experiment but digitally yes i’m gonna sit this right here and you know it’s the broccoli and the chocolate is all in the one ipad right you can yes go and do your homework but you could also talk to your friends for the next 14 hours and we’re expecting an underdeveloped brain to have that control and we just go guess what you tried really hard i’m sure that you couldn’t contain so i’m going to use technology i’m going to set you know the parental controls so that only spotify is accessible and when you try and override that i will find out and then we’ll have a different

[Alexx] (1:04:41 – 1:04:57)

conversation yeah and so if if the parent because i remember now she also said i don’t know how because we had controls in place for it to only be spotify so it could be like a private browser or it could be something they’ve found a way probably a helpful mate has taught them how

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:04:57 – 1:08:21)

and and again you google it they all google and then put videos about how to do it so it can be as simple as changing the time from 6 30 in the morning to p.m so when they flip it around then the controls are switching off at 9 a.m not 9 p.m so if you’ve befuddled the time then yeah the controls 9 p.m but the phone thinks it’s actually 9 a.m so it’s not putting the yeah the other thing to say about dms and what’s happening when young people feel that they need to be up and available for each other is supporting themselves through mental health issues and this is a massive concern to me because uh obviously you you’re 15 year old unless they’ve hacked the space-time continuum probably have not done the five plus one pathway to becoming a psychologist they have not spent those six years and so their ability to actually effectively support their friend in crisis that might be i think i want to cut myself that might be my boyfriend’s asking me for nudes what should i do that could be a range of different levels of distress they simply don’t have the skills to really help but they think to be a really good friend they should have the answers so even within that context i help young people be able to find the language to say that sounds like it’s really tough and i’m not sure what you should really do because i’m just like you why don’t we call kids helpline and we can even not have to talk to someone on kids helpline but can use kids help line circles where it’s the text chat so you can actually text which is what kids prefer over like calling um we could who is your trusted adult who’s the person that we you feel like even though it’s a bit scary we could go and talk to can i come with you to talk to that person so even teaching them those skills so that they can say i’m a good friend even if i can’t solve the problem because i am only a 15 year old girl just like you right so good right and and and they they just that they go oh that feels so much better yeah yeah okay i am a good friend i am a good friend i thought i needed to solve their problems and and again that can apply for us when we have mates who are in got big stuff going down and we’re like quick quick fix all fix all how can i be sometimes it’s just to say oh that is heavy right and and asking sometimes do you need me to actually fix this or do you just need someone to hear you out um so yeah something i learned very late yeah yeah yeah and again we’re fixers right we and we’re connectors and we have solutions and and ways of doing things especially for other people never quite solved my own problems in the way i can for my clients for instance but that’s okay i go i go to my own support crew for that and again you know for many parents they’re supporting so many people and they often come to me on the verge of burnout for for counseling and i’m like okay first thing we do is we get your sleep sorted second thing we do is we build your um cheerleading crew up again and and asking for help is so tough for women i find um but when you’ve got that support crew um that’s a big shift for a lot of parents so um and again role modeling if we think we have to solve it all kids will think they have to solve it all too

[Alexx] (1:08:22 – 1:08:28)

absolutely and in your support crew and reaching out yes it’s vulnerable yes it can feel icky

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:08:28 – 1:09:45)

but it’s when we realize no one’s perfect yeah and it’s also the the the great honor when somebody does right like we think oh my god i’m gonna i’m gonna contact you and i’m gonna say oh things are really awful and i’m gonna say oh too bad so sad i don’t have time for that i’m really busy like time opens up when you’ve got a mate who comes to you and says this is going on can i you know bend your ear um and and you know put yourself in the perspective of when somebody comes to you and something’s happened what are you likely to do most of us are likely to you know absolutely down tools and within reason you know um support that person so when we kind of can just imagine that and and remember the honor that it is when somebody comes to you give yourself some permission i think we’re so just very tough on ourselves as women and mums in at this kind of point in human history because we’ve got so many um kind of expectations and pressure on ultimately an ancient operating system our minds are you know really paleolithic but we have and we still only have 24 hours in the day yet we’re expecting ourselves to be like literally computers

[Alexx] (1:09:45 – 1:10:52)

mm-hmm yeah and then i would say the same of dads in a sense who have often been um left out of the minutiae of a parent-kid relationship traditionally but now that we are all desperately trying to even things up as a collective and share the mother load and all that stuff and there are a lot of guys who are really up for it um or even in same-sex partnerships you often have those dominant uh roles that still exist and we’re still trying to share the load with the person who naturally takes more things on but we’re all still finding this tech thing really quite confronting and i think to think about it as not tech let’s put that aside and let’s think about it in the sense that we’re trying to raise good humans who understand critical thinking who understand what red flags look like who understand what it feels like to be a good friend that’s stuff that we can all talk about and know how to do better and tech is just the

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:10:52 – 1:11:17)

subject that we’re talking about it in that’s right absolutely because whether it’s uh respectful relationships they might have some level of tech facilitation around that relationship but it’s still the underlying values and principles of like how are you going to navigate your way through a problem that pops up in whatever context yeah and for the neuro spicy

[Alexx] (1:11:17 – 1:11:42)

kids uh and their parents there’s often that dance between allowing for the like the brain regulation often happens with some screen time um it’s just like oh everything just calms down i just get to be calm right now and soothed and then like some weird flip switch seems to happen so many parents

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:11:42 – 1:13:33)

talk about it where it goes the other way yeah um and and what’s going on here is just nervous system regulation so again depending on you know your neurotype and how your uh neurodivergence and neurodiversity in the case of auadhd is shows up is actually very very specific to you and this is where a digital diet analogy applies even more because there’s kind of like limits within the different um there’s so many aspects like in in terms of the the neurotype so it can be like too much cadence and too much sensitivity and then you you literally have cognitive overload it can be that you need to kind of have a bit of focus but for a certain amount of time so you need to know that kind of sweet spot so it’s getting the content and the the length of time the then the activities that you do when you come off screen so again that embodiment and getting feeling back in your body so you’ve used your mind but then you kind of can feel your muscles and and bring that at a somatic kind of awareness back in um some polyvagal kind of theory stuff can be useful there as well i’m going to write this year a course about screens and neurodivergence i’ve put it off for so long excellent because it’s like how many different versions of that do we need for the different ways that our neurotypes show up and without going into super stereotypes around autism even within that there’s so many different ways that we can use technology but that digital diet uniqueness is really key because we don’t want to rev up too much we don’t want to then um kind of uh numb out too much either and depending on what you need at different times then that’s going to look different as well as you then change and grow and your brain develops and

[Alexx] (1:13:33 – 1:14:15)

then you need different things and i love that because the food analogy then comes back like some people have histamine pathways that get activated with certain food groups and so you want to lower those in that adhd kid or that autistic kid but then other people thrive on like tons of steak or whatever it is that’s right and that feels really grounding for them so we really want to and so the same is with tech to think about different forms of tech different types of games different types of youtube uh channels that they subscribe to and notice responses times of length and almost kind of just raise your awareness on what’s helping and what’s harming

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:14:15 – 1:15:23)

maybe so it’s like when you do an elimination diet and you go okay i’ve been eating everything and then i take this one thing out and i go oh it was the gluten or oh it was the dairy or it was whatever right it was actually uh playing alone can be one of them that i actually go really really into myself and i need to play with other people um so again there’s uh no one size fits all um and when we try you know when people often say oh you weren’t specific enough and i’m like that’s because i cannot literally know you your family and your style of consuming technology in a you know group presentation where i’ve got 400 people in a call um so you know i will write the book as well that’s the other thing on the list for 2024 um and again you know knowing my neurotype and and having had an adhd diagnosis for 13 years i know that i love doing a million things at once and that is highly unhelpful for completing the really important things that i say i want to do but you know my brain struggles to um complete so yeah well we’re looking forward

[Alexx] (1:15:23 – 1:16:06)

to it whenever that hyper focus kicks in and you can get that shit done brilliant um i have one more question and i don’t want it to feel like i’m opening up a huge can of worms it doesn’t need to even be big but i mean to even say the dawning of ai is ridiculous we are in the quagmire of ai we’re already there um are there things we need to be mindful of as it becomes more and more prevalent in um study tool options essay writing options tech and how it might be being used with bots in gaming like i don’t even know so what do you know are the most important things for us to

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:16:06 – 1:18:54)

be mindful of in the ai landscape okay the probably the most salient thing is that ai is just generating a bucket ton of junk information that is pervading what we consume okay so suddenly so no biggie it’s no biggie but you know you could go from the analogy of like the food in your local grocery store is no gmo to everything is now possibly gmo and there’s no label for gmo yet right and part of the digital nutrition concept is like imagine we had labels nutritional labels and ingredient labels so when your kid comes to you and says can i have this we can go oh mate look how much farm oil is in that wouldn’t that be great for tech yeah right and there are moves towards this but the quantification is really complex so um what we’re seeing is just this flooding of crap content bot written stuff um i proudly put out um 30 pages of some content recently and i put a disclaimer that i did not use generative ai or a large language model to generate any of the content now that either makes me incredibly silly or not or really really smart that i didn’t need to i don’t know yet which one of those um it is but ultimately we are being exposed to a lot of junk we need to be able to identify it and we need to again go back to culling those sources following trusted sources of things like news especially if you’re getting your news from social media um you need to do things like within instagram go back and choose to be shown political content because that actually is how you’re going to get independent sources of news like missing perspectives or cheap media or any of those kinds of things um and then we need to kind of again have a whole conversation about how we are we want to be good thinking humans like concentration is the most um kind of valuable tool i think that we need to hone because we need to be able to concentrate to solve some of these really big problems that the world is facing um and when we can learn to do that um that’s where we you know get some joy but we need to be able to focus and speak out what what is real and what is fake and then trust those sources um look ai is showing up in so many different ways i’m using it to write my case notes i’m using you know some things that really save me time and then save me from putting my psych fees up this year i really don’t want to have a price increase hundred percent i haven’t had

[Alexx] (1:18:54 – 1:19:27)

to increase our sponsorship rates because we are now able to ai a transcript which benefits our listeners our deaf community who haven’t been able to access you know like on and on you could go about the benefits and i think the digital nutrition framework the concept is actually a really beautiful one to bring across to what’s helpful what’s harmful um what’s a nasty additive versus actually it’s bicarb soda if you look up that number so no biggie uh and and to think about

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:19:27 – 1:19:51)

that with ai as well yeah yeah yeah we could do a whole episode on ai because the the uses of it are in in so many different ways obviously based on whether it’s um large language models that we’re trying to deploy in different ways or even using large action models which is a whole new interesting thing if you have a look at the rabbit uh one little device which i have on order and i’m

[Alexx] (1:19:51 – 1:20:21)

going to play with when it gets here later in the week yeah awesome yeah i just yeah i i do worry about like the biggest thing we had to worry about as teen girls in the 80s and 90s was um you know photoshopped thigh gaps and that not being disclosed and i feel like now we just have like completely synthetic beauty of human like non-existent humans who’ve been manufactured um through tech to compete

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:20:21 – 1:21:38)

with and that is that scares a lot of parents absolutely because i think too that um the way that our senses of beauty is shaped is through what we see and when this you know like again the algorithm can serve you one particular form of beauty and ignore the diversity of bodies and skin color and um you know limb differences or facial differences and all of those things um it’s the opposite of actually what we were expecting when we you know again wear those body shop t-shirts in the 90s that said um you know there’s eight million supermodels in the world and six billion people or whatever and now there’s like eight billion people in the world and millions of influencers and millions of kind of celebrities and supermodels that we’re looking towards there’s not just the eight that we used to you know think oh my gosh um and and the diversity that is missing uh when we narrow down and that’s what the algorithm really does is narrow us down into a very very specific corner rather than kind of keep giving us all of that um you know beautiful richness that’s out there the silo effect can work well um but it can also work

[Alexx] (1:21:38 – 1:21:57)

negatively as well as as well and again it’s then about having conversations and saying oh that’s interesting that that came up or that you now believe that let’s have a look at what other people believe and just so that we can keep things or yes yeah like what do you like about that what

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:21:57 – 1:22:40)

is beautiful about that to you and and and understanding that that is a robot and that can be robot beauty right there’s the you know you go to the easter show and you see the dog show and like you know there’s somebody who’s trained to look at like how perfect a dog can be i don’t see any of that i see different types of dogs oh that’s a nice dog but we we have to be trained in particular types of visual literacy like it’s a whole other thing where when you look at something enough and you know what you’re looking for you can actually get really good at it so you know there’s different senses of well that’s beautiful for a robot um versus that’s beautiful for a you know 40 something year old woman who hasn’t dyed her hair in five years and

[Alexx] (1:22:42 – 1:23:49)

love it yeah i think totally um i see what you’re saying there so again digital nutrition when it comes to ai is what’s helpful what looks like it could actually make us get more of the things we love done uh and be of more service to people versus what is harmful distorting our sense of reality and making us not like reality in some parts because it doesn’t look right because we’re seeing too much of the fake stuff and just being across those chats thank you so much what an epic conversation that was we definitely needed a part two didn’t we wow okay thank you jocelyn thanks for your work and thank you for encouraging us to think about tech in uh the healthy ways that it can show up in our lives and the opportunities that it brings us to actually parent where we think because we didn’t have it oh well we don’t know about that and therefore we can’t parent on it you teach us it’s actually the opposite so yes i really

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:23:49 – 1:24:21)

appreciate it the thing i will leave you with is to remember that when your brain is in fear when your brain is freaking out about all the bad things that you’re hearing about teens and tech you cannot actually make long-term sustainable choices to fix solve and improve because you’re just in so my approach is specific in that i want to empower you to take an action that will stick not freak out and do nothing a hundred percent that’s so funny that you’re leaving us with that

[Alexx] (1:24:21 – 1:24:50)

because i literally wrote as a reflection this morning distilling something i’ve been thinking about for a while is fear can be a great jolt like oh i need to do something about this because there is an issue here but fear is not the part of the lasting change piece that part can only happen if we are relaxed empowered and productive about the excitement towards a better goal yeah around that

[Dr Jocelyn] (1:24:50 – 1:25:52)

thing you’ve got to be motivated right and you have to generally see a positive hopeful future and a lot of what gets painted is not that it’s you know awful awful stuff and you know look my little phd idea at the moment is to survey people who read john hates new book and to go okay in six months time what are you doing differently after you’ll freak out and you’re like oh my god you have to read this book we saw it with the social dilemma too everyone was like oh you’ve got to watch this documentary and i would love to know what meaningful lasting change happened as a result of what was ultimately a very fear-based lacking in actual solutions and again anxious generation most of the uh the four norms two of them very directly fall disproportionately to women to do so just another job for us but anyway we can talk for hours i will let you go thank you for having me i’m really you know grateful to the opportunity to to share as widely

[Alexx] (1:25:52 – 1:28:52)

and as loudly as possible so yeah oh you’re so welcome i hope you loved today’s show as much as i loved bringing it to you i want to remind you that if you are someone who craves a low-tox community that is judgment-free full of empowerment has health professionals and building health professionals that can support you as well as me in their answering questions multiple times a week i want to invite you to join the low-tox club for the price of less than a cup of coffee a month you have an annual membership for 49 australian so it’s about 30 us or euro that allows you to have a member master class every single month with a health professional or global expert from the podcast where we have them to ourselves for an hour to ask questions and deep dive further you have the beautiful supportive chat group you have q and a’s with me me answering questions we read books and talk about them and a whole bunch more you can head to lowtoxlife.com hit the explore tab and join the club is the very first option on that list of course we have over 10 evergreen courses that you can jump into anytime whether it’s navigating everyday low-tox swaps with our go low-tox signature course whether you have kids and you’re wanting to know how to best support them with our low-tox kids course whether you’re planning a family and looking at a healthy low-tox preconception journey reducing inflammation especially the chronic kind with our inflammation ninja course many many other courses you can again head to lowtoxlife.com hit the courses tab and you’ll see all of the options which includes a business course my low tox method program a lot of people don’t know but i was doing a lot before starting lowtox life in 2009 and i was a business consultant across hospitality health retail and cosmetics i have been in business consulting for a very long time so i absolutely adore helping people move into the low-tox space or develop their low-tox businesses so that’s a way i can support you and then of course there’s our wonderful social media communities at lowtoxlife on instagram and of course the website with over 250 gluten-free recipes blogs downloadable pdfs to help you navigate wanting to get rid of synthetic fragrances in your school or office i could go on so head to lowtoxlife.com see what takes your interest or fancy and thank you so much for being a part of our podcast community i love love love reading your reviews i appreciate every follow and subscribe and i want to just remind you to finish off that if there’s anything you heard that you found interesting from medical or scientific perspective it is intended as education only please always chat to a health professional who knows you and your situation best i’ll see you next week bye

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