Our kids are losing sleep, and it is affecting their ability to innovate, create, think and achieve all because of FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.
At the annual conference for the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS) on November 4, I introduced Dr. Larry Rosen. Rosen is Professor and Past Chair of the Psychology Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is a research psychologist with specialties in multitasking, social networking, generational differences, parenting, child and adolescent development, and educational psychology, and is recognized as an international expert in the “Psychology of Technology.”
Dr. Rosen spoke on a range of topics critical for teaching our newest generation of students, “The Connected Generation.” One topic that struck me was based upon his research on the level of anxiety students have when they cannot connect to the world to chat, text, message, check Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and so on. This anxiety, especially prevalent in heavy users of connectivity devices, is in part over their fear of missing out. So they have to check their phones, often and at times obsessively. Rosen said that research validates that phantom phone vibration is a real syndrome as people experience a vibration in their phone indicating a text as having been received, but it is not really there.
This anxiety surrounding connectivity is now permeating students’ sleep. Rosen said that pre-teen and teenage students need 9 hours of sleep a night and are getting only 6.1. Even with long sleep ins on weekends, kids are running a sleep deficit, and that deficit is a debt that goes unpaid. It affects their ability to think, think creatively, and achieve.
When kids sleep, their brains do a lot of important work: their brains consolidate what they have received (learned), they trim away things unnecessary, and... » read more