Since its inception, smartphones and social media sites have played a huge impact in our daily lives. We scroll, we post, we like, we comment, for hours each day. We have shortened our attention span and have stared at the screen while sitting and eating with our loved ones and closest friends, keeping our attention focused on what is on the screen, rather than the person(s) in the room with us. We will scroll and “skim the information” on our phones obsessively and when we finally put the phone down we are hit with a feeling of doubt, worry, and fear about our unhealthy phone conduct and obsession. We don’t know why we can’t put it down, we just know we can’t.

RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center will host a town hall symposium on June 12 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the negative effects that smartphones cause and what can be done about it.  This town meeting will have three important sections:

  1. The first section will focus on how the current technological revolution has disrupted our lives and the effects it has on our psychological behavior and neurological systems. 
  2. The second portion of the symposium will focus on why this technology has created these changes regarding how we think, act, react, learn and absorb information, and how it reduces our human connection.
  3. The third section will discuss best practices on how to use smartphones and technology in a safe and efficient manner that is conducive to our and our loved one’s mental health and well-being. Afterwards, we will have a Q&A session with the audience. 

This symposium is not designed to say that smartphones are bad, after all there are a lot of positives that this technology brings. Rather, it has been created to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals and their families as we continue on this road of rapid technological breakthroughs. For this, it is important to be aware of the adverse effects that smartphones and new technologies may cause, especially for our youngest.

The symposium will be led by Assistant Director of Community Prevention at Prevention Links, Sean Keagan Foley, MSW, LSW and will take place on June 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center located in Scotch Plains on 2120 Lamberts Mill Rd. The event is hosted by Prevention Links, RWJ Hospital Rahway, & RWJ Rahway Fitness & Wellness.