Let’s not hide from this important topic

An interesting research report is available online that details Australian suicide rates based on ABS statistics data in 2015/2016. What we were interested in researching are the trends and movement of these rates on our younger generations. Although it’s great to see that these rates have dropped in the last 2 decades among 20-24 year olds, but what should be a worrying sign is that the trend has reversed strongly in the last 6 years within the male population and showing signs of increase within the females.

This is a worrying trend indeed if we realise that these stats are based on the first generation of youngsters going through the personal technology revolution.

If Australia is truly a great place to live, then why is this occurring? Why is it that our young adolescents feel this need to take their lives? Not only do we need to understand it, but perhaps it’s time to re-balance our lives as a community and an important role for families to recognise the need to step away from technology as the only source for entertainment and lifestyle.

Let’s be clear, we are not correlating these increases to technology being the only cause, but it’s certainly worth questioning the motives of these kids and reasons of depression in a country of such good fortunes.

Age-standardised Suicide Rates 1989-2015 (20-24 year olds) ABS

The report is available from here: http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-suicide/facts-and-stats

Or download the PDF directly from here:
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) Catalogue No. 3303.0
Causes of Death, Australia, 2015.
http://www.mindframe-media.info/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/13124/ABS-2016-Suicide-figures-2015_Final.pdf

 

Where have all the children gone?

A bit of a flashback to the 60’s “Where have all the flowers gone” song.

We have built so many wonderful playgrounds for our children to enjoy and a safe environment for them to explore a bit of dirt and play in nature, but technology has certainly taken over as the primary plaything for our kids.  Tablets and phones are so immersive and so easy to carry around, it’s no wonder our kids (and parents alike) love it – and are addicted to it.

Surely…its time for a change?

…and now…back to the music…

 

Depression 2.0 – Now available for kids

The negative effects of letting kids have access to smart phones and tablets is still not fully studied. Although there is an incredible amount of research to the positive effects of technological devices towards the use of learning, the negative side effects are far from fully understood or researched.

The negative health effects however are tremendous, and you are lying to yourself if you don’t admit that as an adult you know that all these technical devices are bad for you in some shape or form. Yet, here we are, maybe a decade on from the smart phone revolution brought on by the iPhone, and these technologies have now become ubiquitous with our everyday life, including our kids’ daily experiences.

Just for a bit of side reading, take a look at this research study carried out in Norway from 2012 across nearly 10,000 adolescents in the age range of 16-19.  Research article here: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/1/e006748.

In summary:

Adolescents spent a large amount of time during the day and at bedtime using electronic devices. Daytime and bedtime use of electronic devices were both related to sleep measures, with an increased risk of short sleep duration, long sleep onset latency and increased sleep deficiency.

Meaning, extended use of these devices, not only increases the length of time it takes to fall asleep, but also increases the chance that you will sleep shorter lengths of time.

Which then takes us to the future of our even younger cohorts that are absolutely growing up in the middle of this personal gadget revolution. A future where the kids are so attached to their time on these devices and the fact that we are allowing this happen is a scary thought indeed.

As a community, we must come together and work towards a more balanced and healthy lifestyle on the use of technology for us and for our children.

 

 

(Photo courtesy/copyright of 123rf – vejaa / 123RF Stock Photo)

The next generation – nature is optional

We watch out kids grow up in this modern world, and as parents and carers, we make sure we put “limits” on their exposure to technologies and their use. But do you find these “limits” are creeping up to be longer and more expansive than ever before? What you thought would be 30 minutes, turns into 2 hours? 2 hours throughout the day instead of a one time sit-down. Is one hour of tablet use reasonable? If you are going to the outdoors? Is tablet use in the car reasonable – because it keeps them distracted?

Distracted and detached – maybe it’s synonymous?

The important thing to note is that it’s not about “controlling” the behavior with limitations, but beyond that, getting your child to truly understand the important things that are around them. Getting them distracted seems like a good idea at first, but what if you have started a chain events that carries through to the rest of their lives?

Photo courtesy of 123rf. Copyright: epicstockmedia / 123RF Stock Photo

Welcome to Step Back Into Life, and our very first post.

The idea for this community organisation and life change efforts officially started on June 29, 2017, but in essence, has been brewing around my mind for a few months.

But what is it and what does it have to do with you?

To understand that, maybe it’s best to just take a moment and have a thought about what is going around in your world. Humankind, our particular species, has never before experienced the kind of life that we are experiencing right now.  Everything we need and desire has been taken care of.  Our basic needs to survive are mostly supported (in general), with abundant amounts of food, clothing and shelter available to us with minimal amount of personal effort to acquire it. That’s not even talking about the unmeasurable amount of non-essential material items that is available to us at any time we like.

This current outcome was likely driven not just by greed, but by our generational desires to make the world around us “easier” and better for our children and for their children. Technology advancements and our quest for knowledge have been primary tools of our betterment, and what many believed would bring more time, more freedom and ultimately happiness in our lives.

But time and freedom has never arrived. Happiness is not even in the picture.

Technology, rather than freeing us, has now bound us to a certain way of life that completely separates us from each other when we are sitting right next to the person that we are supposed to be connecting with. This may be our spouses or partners, our kids, our parents, our friends, the nature around us – Life.

Isn’t it about time that we started to take back what is ours and what we as humans are striving for? Step Back Into Life’s purpose is to encapsulate the general idea of not only why we are here, but to remind us of the important things in life and to respect the world that we have been created into.

With this, we are starting slowly, but surely. Our first initiative is going to be a simple one which will be announced separately.  We don’t know where this will take us and where we will be, but the important thing is our journey together, to help us all grow together as humans. We need your involvement, the community effort to bring momentum to these initiatives, and I am looking forward to hearing from you and joining me on this.

George Papdan