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By Cris Rowan
Following a recent media interview on the negative impact of technology on children, the reporter stated that she "felt guilty" about letting her children use so much technology. As I thought about how to respond, I became aware of my own desire to dismiss or alternatively, to validate her guilt. I wanted to help this Mom to feel better, but in dismissing her shame, I realized I was perpetuating a pervasive and immobilizing condition - Tech Guilt. Parents who perpetually feel guilty about their own (and their children's) technology overuse, are essentially disabling themselves from moving forward toward better technology management practices. So if Tech Guilt is truly a useless and unproductive emotion resulting in 'inaction', why do parents do it so much? It's almost as if feeling guilty about tech overuse is enough, that it somehow releases parents from taking actionable and productive steps toward tech reduction. Tech Guilt essentially provides parents with a temporary 'relief' in the unending saga of escalating child tech overuse, or does it? This article intends to explore the origins of Tech Guilt in parents, and proposes ten progressive steps toward moving beyond Tech Guilt toward actions that will ensure sustainable futures for all children.   

Cris in the News

Raising Children in a virtual age.

Article in Winnipeg Free Press about Cris Rowan's upcoming workshops to be held in Winnipeg November 6th.  

Cris Rowan CTV Winnipeg Interview

September 21 CTV News interview with Cris Rowan.

NEW - Tech Addiction Resource List

Zone'in has revised and update the Tech Addiction Resource list to include Tech Addiction books.  
Foundation Series Workshop Schedule

Oct. 26, 2017 Whistler, BC
Parent workshop on impact of technology on child development, behaviour and learning sponsored by Whistler Waldorf School.
Contact person: Jen Dodds,
Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Full day workshop for professionals on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services. 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Evening workshop for parents on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services. 6:30 to 8:30 pm Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

May 8, 2018 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Professional workshop on impact of technology on children sponsored by Healthy Baby Program, Healthy Child
Contact person:  Tamara Hes, 204-945-3610,

Research and News Review

Childhood Development

By Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood August 2017
A free tool kit, designed to help parents understand what data schools collect, how it should be protected, and what parents can do to hold schools accountable.  

By John Wright 2017  
A thorough and up to date infographic on Canada's Alarming Obesity Statistics.

By Dr Jennifer Weeks March 30, 2017
Study indicated that the presence of internet filtering software did not reduce a child's risk of being exposed to some type of adverse online experience.

By Erik Peper July 22, 2017
Exercise is the most effective behavioral technique for self-regulation of mood in healthy people.

By Erik Peper July 22, 2017
Research findings show that moderate vigorous exercise  does not totally reverse the health risks of sitting and watching television.

By Anne Niccoli CBC News September 28, 2015
What effect do digital devices have on our digital brains?

Social Media, Internet & Mobile Technology

By Rick Nauert PhD   Aug 21, 2017
By Jean M. Twenge  The September  2017 edition of The Atlantic
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they're on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

By Tristan Harris TED Talk Vancouver - April 2017
From Facebook notifications to Snapstreaks to YouTube autoplays, they're all competing for one thing: your attention.

By Anna Maria Tremonti The Current CBC Radio - June 20, 2017
Internet searches offer unique insight into the human psyche because people type things into Google that they would never admit in a survey ... or possibly even to themselves.

By Helen Russell The Guardian November 10, 2015
Group who quit site for a week felt less stressed and spoke more with family and friends face to face, in study by Danish Happiness Research Institute.

By Christine Elgersma Common Sense Media July 25, 2017
Talking to kids and teens about online predators gives them the tools they need to handle themselves in a web-based world.

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. June 27, 2017
Seven ways reducing parental screen time makes managing kid's easier.

By Michael Corkery New York Times September 14, 2017
Google implemented new restrictions on advertising related to searches for addiction treatment after "misleading experiences" involving treatment centers.

By Johan M. Kessel and Paul Mozur New York Times September 17, 2017
Behind the scenes, Facebook is involved in high-stakes diplomatic battles across the globe that have begun fragmenting the internet itself.

Video by Real Battle Ministries Published June 23, 2017
Romanian doctor explains his approach.

Video Games & Pornography

By Michaela Jarvis in Science March 31, 2017 DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6332.1385 
The typical client at ReSTART treatment center is young, male, depressed, anxious, sleep-deprived, failing in school or at work, poorly developed physically, unfamiliar with normal dating relationships-and living every possible moment in front of a screen - Hilarie Cash explains why.

By Delaney Ruston, MD, Screenagers August 8, 2017  
As parents need is to start talking about inappropriate media sooner rather than later. But what do you say and at what age?

Playing first-person shooter video games could put certain users at greater risk of developing neuropsychiatric illnesses such as depression and Alzheimer's disease, conclude Montreal researchers in a new study. 

Video by Common Sense Media 

By Quoctrung Bui  New York Times July 3, 2017

By Pam Kragan September 13, 2017
Harmony, a sexy lifelike talking doll with artificial intelligence, will debut in January.

Child & Youth Addictions
By Dr Richard Freed August 21, 2017
Highlighting the need to shift our kids towards lives centered around family and school-not screens.

By Zoe Cormier Jun 29, 2017 
They're avoiding many of the substances that got earlier generations high. But are they better off?

By Sjelby Lorman July 6, 2017  
Chinese game maker Tencent is taking a stand against internet addiction.

Education Technology
By Anne Gaviola, CBC News September 4, 2017
Toronto startup Flipd helps students unplug while alerting profs that they are paying attention. 

YouTube video June 2017 
Introduction to a well-received event featuring a distinguished panel of experts sharing their experience and advice on health risks such as myopia, retinal damage, sleeplessness, addiction and behavioral issues. Including Screen use at school also brings with it information sharing and privacy issues.

Speaker YouTube videos:

Wireless Radiation

By Sherry Hang June
 1, 2017

Includes the AAP recommended steps to reduce radiation exposure from cell phones.

By Katie Singer September 9, 2017
Introductory-level resources for concerned citizens who want to get informed.
Zone'in Programs

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Programs are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.

Tech Talks for Therapists   - 5 hour training for educators and therapists; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Tech Talks for Families -  10 half hour sessions for families on tech management; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.
Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.
Unplug'in  - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.
Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.

Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children
Virtual Child
By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.
Virtual Child  documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use.  

Need more info? Visit


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
Training & Consultation

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training

Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 

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Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
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Tel: 1-888-896-6346
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© Zone'in Programs Inc. 2017