Snapshot: November

We acknowledge and thank the W̱SÁNEĆ people on whose traditional territory we live, learn, and teach. The W̱SÁNEĆ people have lived and worked on this land since time immemorial.


Focusing on Digital Technology, Social Media, and Screen Time

With digital technology comes new opportunities to learn, engage, connect and explore.  Yet despite the many benefits of digital technology, responsible use also leads us to consider the risks.  November‘s snapshot focuses on some of the more complex impacts social media and screen time may be contributing towards, while considering ways we might remain in control of technology, maintaining a better sense of health and agency

How Much Time Do You Spend Online?

Research suggests that Canadian teens spend an average of 4.1 hours of recreational time daily on screens of some form.


Are You Web Aware?

Check out the parent tip sheet linked below to consider how web aware you are.

Why Talk About Social Media and Screen Time?
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Social media influences many facets, including our perception, attention, cognition, relationships and mental health. Check out the following stats, and visit the link below to learn more!

Fake news spreads six times faster than true news, likely due to its highly emotional nature.

Technology’s constant interruptions and distractions are impacting our ability to think, focus, solve problems, and be present.

75% of screen content is switched within the first 60 seconds of viewing.

The mere presence of a phone, even if face down, drains our attention.

Technology has been proven to impact our happiness, self-image, and mental health.

30% of 18-44 year olds reported feeling anxious if they hadn’t checked Facebook in the previous two hours.

Brain chemistry can lead us to 'crave' more likes.

MRI brain scans showed a reduction in the grey matter of the amygdala that increased in relation to addiction to Facebook.

Children under 14 spend nearly twice the time with tech when compared to time with family.

Despite online connections, social media increases likelihood to feel lonely and disconnected.


Even one month away from FB can lead to a significant improvement in emotions and well-being, a reduction in loneliness, and an increase in happiness.

Maintaining and managing time online can lead to increased feelings of well-being.  Consider trying some of the tips and tricks below, to see if your well-being increased as your time online decreases.  Begin asking yourself the right questions, to better evaluate your time online.  Ask yourself not “Do you like this app?”, but “How does this app make you feel?” both during and after using it.
Take Back Control!

Take Back Control! 

Try grey screen.  Did you know the colours on social media and screens are used intentionally to capture our attention and draw us in?  Notice the difference when you try grey screen.

Turn off Notifications.  Notifications often appear in red, as red is a trigger colour, captures our attention, and draws us back in.  Turn off notifications to resist the process!

Delete toxic apps.  Rather than asking if you like an app, question how the app makes you feel when you use it.  Consider replacing the toxic apps that monopolize your time and leave you feeling down, and replace them with apps that improve your mood.

Practice Compassion, and recognize polarization.  Polarization, hate and anger generate more engagement, leading to more time spent on tech.  Try pausing and practicing compassion when you read something you disagree with.  Remember there is a person behind the screen, and try sending them a private message with genuine curiosity to better understand their perspective.

Set Boundaries and create tech-free time.  Create clear bounded times without technology. Try tech free meals and social interactions, create a shared charging station to keep phones out of bedrooms, and buy an alarm clark to resist being sucked into screen time first thing in the morning.

Fully disconnect from phones and social media one day per week.  Allow yourself to experience life without your phone, and to disrupt addictive patterns.

Try It Out!

6 Ways To Unplug

Creative ideas to help children and youth unplug.


Social Me

French short documentary, “Social Me,” shares one young adult‘s reflection on her relationship with social media.


Create a Screen Time Agreement 

Build a family screen time agreement, that balances time online and off-line, while fostering respect and meaningful connections among family members. 


Social Dilemma

Explore the influence the tech industry has had over modern-day society, and its relationship with concepts like technology addiction, social engineering, and surveillance capitalism.  Discussion questions included.



Screenagers is a film and website full of research, resources, and ideas to evaluate the role and function of 'screens' in our  life.

Staying Safe Online

Learn More About Online Safety

Check out the Online Safety page through the Expect Respect and a Safe Education (ERASE) website to learn more about how to use technology safely, while raising awareness as to how to best move through challenging situations.  ERASE includes a number of resources addressing everything from technology and addiction, to cyberbullying and sexting, parenting in a digital age, and managing a positive digital footprint.

Consider the following strategies to stay safe online

Communicate in classes and at home around safe and healthy technology use.

Don't open emails from strangers.

Consider privacy, and don't allow yourself to be tagged in public posts.

Don't share personal information online (name, address, age etc.) with anyone you don't know.

If someone you've met online asks to meet in person, tell a parent, teacher, or trusted adult.

Change your password regularly.

If someone is bullying you online, don't respond, take a picture for evidence, block the person, and tell a trusted adult.


Interested in Learning More?

Check out the following sites, referenced throughout this snapshot: