Counselor promotes healthy technology use with children’s book

Local counselor promotes healthy technology use with children’s book

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — A counselor at Carmel Clay Middle School has made it her mission to help families build healthy relationships with technology. Michelle Janson wrote a book called “The Tangles.”

The story is told from the perspective of aliens from outer space who take a field trip to Earth. They quickly start to notice all of the humans around them staring at rectangles which are of course our tablets, phones and laptops. The alien students start calling the devices tangles.

Janson said the idea was to talk about technology use in a non-judgmental way. She figured using fiction and letting aliens tell the story would be eye-opening for both children and their parents because it’s a point of view from an outsider.

In many ways, Janson has found technology to be an incredible tool for students, however, she said she can’t discount the growing number of kids who see her for counseling with their parents due to both a reliance and an addiction to technology.

“You know, what does a life look like where there isn’t technology because all of our kids in this day in age don’t know what that looks like. They’ve been born and raised in a world where phones are always present, so just step back and question the amount of time we are spending on our devices is not a bad thing,” said Janson.

The book is geared toward 1st-4th grade students and includes some questions at the end.

Janson is donating a portion of the book sales to a nonprofit called “First Book,” a group that helps to provide equal access to quality education.

You can buy The Tangles from several big retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Walmart or you can also pick it up locally at Indy Reads Books on Mass Ave.