RLP's Personal Blog

Superstimulus And Parenting

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(incomplete notes)

I wrote the following after a slack posted https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/534198/ and https://daily.jstor.org/yes-smartphones-are-destroying-a-generation-but-not-of-kids/

My $0.02 on both articles: Our culture needs to have more active
conversations around superstimulus
( http://lesswrong.com/lw/h3/superstimuli_and_the_collapse_of_western/
; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernormal_stimulus ) as a general
construct.  Pure sugar is OK as long as you use it for special occassions
and eat enough good foods.  Facebook is OK as long as you also spend time
with friends in real life.  Porn is OK as long as you also have a healthy
sexual relationship with your actual partner(s).  Cell phones are OK as
long as you also sometimes leave the house/have conversations with your
actual mouth.  Playing RPGs (AKA "porn for the performance oriented";
)  is OK as long as you also accomplish things in real life.  Playing
bloody FPSes is OK as long as you are kind in real life.  Etc, etc, etc.
There's a *general structure* here, and pointing out to kids that the world
is full of superstimulus and that learning how to handle it is an important
life skill is a thing that is, I think, super valuable.  My kids are only
5, though, so, we'll see how it goes.  We've had some of the framing
conversations around this, but I haven't yet pointed out the general

And I 100% agree with the second article that the hard part is *modelling*
this behaviour, and engaging your kids at a deep level about it.