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Nurturing Digital Wellness for Our Youth

In today’s digital age, technology has seamlessly integrated itself into the lives of young people, both inside and outside the classroom. As schools incorporate technology into their curricula and digital media becomes integral to youth culture, the need for safety measures, equity and education regarding quality media choices has never been more pressing.

Enter Common Sense Media (CSM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of children and families by providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in the 21st century. For over two decades, CSM has been at the forefront of guiding parents and educators through the ever-evolving landscape of digital media.

Two decades ago, CSM took its first step in empowering parents with the launch of its inaugural guide, aimed at helping families discover media that entertains, educates and inspires. This initiative coincided with the gradual accessibility of technology to young learners. However, it was the advent of smartphones in 2007 that truly revolutionized media consumption, placing content directly into the hands of youth wherever they went.

In the era of skyrocketing digital media consumption, parents and educators face unprecedented challenges. CSM recognizes these challenges and provides invaluable support in navigating this media-filled world. From guiding media choices with comprehensive reviews to advocating for digital equity and literacy, CSM addresses key issues surrounding technology use among young people:

  • Media Choice: Offering reviews that empower parents to select high-quality content for their children.
  • Digital Equity: Ensuring access to technology and providing the necessary support and tools to utilize it effectively.
  • Digital Literacy and Citizenship: Advising on habits and skills that empower young people to take control of their digital lives and succeed both online and offline.
  • Tech Accountability: Engaging in public and private-sector reforms to safeguard privacy, minimize harm, and promote healthy media and technology use for all.
  • Healthy Childhood: Providing advice, research and community outreach to support children’s mental, physical and emotional well-being while exploring the effects of technology on their overall health.

In December 2023, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation granted $325,000 to Common Sense Media from our Mental Health and Well-Being giving area. This funding will support research and outreach initiatives focused on understanding the impact of smartphones and artificial intelligence on young people, particularly concerning mental health.

The Blank Foundation is proud to support Common Sense Media as it navigates the complexities of the digital age, prioritizes the well-being of our youth and empowers them to thrive in a tech-savvy world. Through education, advocacy and collaboration, there can be a future where technology enriches lives without compromising on safety and wellness.

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