Also: Betsy Sundermann, Cincinnati City Councilwoman Visits EmpowerUVirtual Class Only
Digital Addiction is a massive societal problem. It compromises childrens’ academic performance, social connectedness, mental health, their development of skills and personal interests, and the time they spend engaged in non-screen recreational activities. It kills adults’ productivity at work, fosters conflict among colleagues, and causes accidents that damage property and result in injury and death. It also degrades family life, diminishing the amount and quality of the time families spend together.
Mr. Mercier’s research reveals that a strong majority of people are very frustrated by their digital addiction, are fully aware of the problems it causes them, wish they could control it, but ultimately find themselves unable to do so. This is utterly unacceptable; we can’t continue to allow digital addiction to squander our human potential in this way. We must find a way to help people bring their recreational screen use under control.
In this talk Mr. Mercier will provide a framework for addressing digital addiction at a societal, institutional, and individual level. Topics covered include the causes of tech addiction, its many consequences, the fundamental challenge in addressing tech addiction, a framework for developing a strategy to address it, legislation addressing tech addiction, a review of the various solutions being employed around the world, tech monitoring and blocking applications, and digital detoxes.
Betsy Sundermann was sworn into office on March 5, 2020 as a City of Cincinnati Council Person. She replaced retiring Councilwoman Amy Murray after receiving an endorsement from the Hamilton County GOP. Sundermann is a former Hamilton County probate court magistrate.
We look forward to meeting Betsy Sundermann and talking to her about what it is like to be one of the only two Republican Conservatives on the City of Cincinnati Council. What are her goals in the position? Is it possible to get anything done? What are her priorities? How is it to work with the different Council Members including The Gang of Five? Who will be the next Mayor?. How about defunding the police? Betsy Sundermann will join EmpowerU from 7:05-7:25 PM.
Mr. Mercier has conducted 18 research studies on digital addiction with teens, college students, summer campers, parents, Millennials, and full-time employees. His research has examined the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical consequences of digital addiction, as well as its impact on academic performance and workplace productivity and safety. He also has studied the benefits people derive from digital detoxes.
He has spoken on smartphone addiction to schools, corporate audiences, colleges and summer camps, as well as at numerous conferences, including educational technology, summer camp, mindfulness, workplace safety, and marketing conferences. His research partners have included EMI Research Solutions, Stark Statistical Consulting, Camp Kern, Camp Ernst, Camp Livingston, The Jewish Community Center Association of North America, Hiram College, BOLDFISH, and Calvert Catholic High School.
Mr. Mercier has presented his research to US Congressmen Jim Jordan and Brad Wenstrup, and to the legislative staffs of US Senators Brown, Hawley, Markey, Portman, and Sasse. Congressman Wenstrup made a House floor speech about his findings on cyberbullying, and he co-organized with the Congressman a local roundtable discussion with educators on the role that social media plays in bullying and school violence. During the 2020/2021 academic year he will be teaching several courses on tech addiction at Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center. He has been interviewed on a variety of radio and television shows.
He holds a BA in Psychology from Vassar College, an MBA in Marketing from the University of Michigan, and an MS in MIS from the University of Cincinnati.