Author, Motivational Speaker Urges Iowa Students To Seek Connections In Person, Not Online

Statewide Iowa — A motivational speaker is urging Iowa teachers, administrators and students to separate from their smart phones and connect with the humans around them. Joe Beckman, a consultant based in Minneapolis, was at the School Administrators of Iowa conference in August and he spent a couple of days in Spencer schools last week.

Beckman says smart phones have become a crutch.

Beckman is the author of a book titled “Just Look Up” that he describes as a tool to engage with those around you.

Beckman was a featured speaker at training sessions hosted earlier this year by the Grant Wood and Prairie Lakes Area Education Agencies.

A recent Pew Research Center poll found 45 percent of teenagers are almost constantly on the internet and more than half felt anxious or lonely if they didn’t have access to their smart phone.

Researchers from Iowa State University and other institutions who reviewed national data from 2009 through 2015 found an abrupt change in the sleeping habits of teenagers who used their smart phones at least two hours a day. Those with higher usage rates were far more likely to be depressed.



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