Episode 141: Raising Luminaries: How Your Child’s Brain is Being Rewired For Tech Addiction (and what to do about it)

November 10, 2022


When it comes to creating boundaries and limitations around technology for our kids, it’s important that we know what’s at stake. And that’s what today’s episode is all about!

Having the information at hand will give you the backbone you need to stay firm. The use of technology is just getting bigger and more prevalent, so it’s critical that you have all the information you need that allows you to have those conversations and make educated decisions as a family. 

Let’s raise them up right!


[2:06] What Technology Is Doing to Our Brains 

What is technology doing to our brains and the brains of our children?

There’s a book called The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr, where the author makes an extensive case about what the internet and digital world is doing to our brains. And I’ll save you from a very in depth technical read and just give you the CliffsNotes. 

In short, the constant connection to technology is taking away our ability to stay focused; it’s actually rewiring and changing our brains, neurologically and anatomically (they can see this stuff on scans!) So, this is not just theory, this is data. The neurological pathways of our brains are changing and rewiring, we’re actually evolving as a society and not for the better. Kids are not the same anymore. Their attention span is so bad, their brains are different because technology has rewired them.

[4:11] The Main Points 

Here are some main points made by the author that you should keep in mind:

  • Technology causes burnout. Tech makes us process a ton of information, which ultimately leads to burnout. Studies are showing that we are forced to process way more information in a week than our ancestors had to deal with in their entire lifetime. We’re not meant to have to process or consume at that level. 
  • Technology makes our brains learn only at a surface level of things. There is no more deep work because we get really easily distracted. And overall, we don’t function on that deeper level anymore. When was the last time you got in flow? Notifications from our devices are robbing us of our productivity. Research shows that up to 70% of emails are read within just six seconds, and it estimates that the time it takes us to get back into that deep work after distraction is 25 minutes. So, technology is altering our brain’s ability to stay focused for an extended period of time and it’s stripping us from the ability to live in the present. As entrepreneurs and as parents, we lose our focus because of distractions from tech, and our important work and our goals and our dreams end up being stolen from us. I have a free 30-minute game plan to help you with this, to help you regain that clarity, reduce overwhelm and make the space to ultimately regain your focus. So, make sure you grab that at 
  • Technology is addictive. Our constant exposure is going to make us crave more and more stimulation, as an addiction. Whenever we’re online, we’re served up content that is based on the algorithms designed to keep us hooked for minutes, if not hours. It’s actively curated specific to our exact needs and wants. This can have actual harmful effects on our health. Scientists are finding that some of our overuse of technology can affect our brains in the same way a severe drug or alcohol addiction can. When we reach for our devices, dopamine is released, which signals intense pleasure in the brain. But the problem with this is that because of that constant hit of pleasure, actual things that are pleasurable become dulled in comparison. Real life pleasures are robbed from us. Imagine what this is doing to our kids! 

[12:56] Let’s Clear the Clutter

I’m not arguing that we should shelter our kids completely. However, as entrepreneurs who rely on our ability to focus, think and work on a deep level, it’s worthy of our time to investigate our relationship with technology, how we’re modeling it for our kids and what changes need to be made. 

If you’re sluggish, if you’re tired, if you can’t get in a groove, if you’ve lost your mojo, if you’re not making the money you want to make, if you don’t have the relationships you want, if your marriage is falling apart, if your kids are a mess, maybe the root cause is stemming from this piece of technology that has come into your world and rules it. Even if you dedicate just a little time to combating the effects of technology, things can really change for the positive for you, for your family. And at the end of the day, the price we are paying is missing out on opportunities to experience life on a deeper level. 

So what can you do about this? 

  • You can put boundaries on your phone or on screen time. 
  • You can consider a full digital detox. Cal Newport outlines his process in Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World that helps you break your addiction and then allow back in only what’s truly serving you and not distracting you.
  • You can try to quit your phone addiction cold turkey, and replace it with something else.
  • Consider physically removing the stimulus. I think that’s really important. Just not having your phone available to you, especially during a time where you’re just so dependent on it and you might not even realize it. 
  • You can also take Hannah Brencher’s 1000 unplugged hours challenge where she includes a free tracker and a guide. 
  • You can go through my Frazzled to Focused 30-minute game plan that’s going to help you get clarity around where your focus should be.

Let’s clear the clutter, remove the distractions and push less important things to the background! 

I hope this episode gives you some information and helps you navigate those conversations with more knowledge so that you can make educated decisions as a family.

We would love it if you would subscribe and leave us a review! And come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that.

We do this for you so the more you tell us the more we can serve!


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