- Listen to Ron's Interview with Sherry Kelly -
How Digital Technology Is Aging Us—and What We Can Do About It
With the relentless march of digital technology over the last few decades, we’ve seen a contemporary society increasingly focused on making life faster, easier, convenient, more comfortable. But there’s an underside to this pervasive technology. Modernity is working against many of our physical, intellectual and emotional needs, according to a growing body of research. It’s actually making us age faster. In today’s episode, Dr. Sherry Kelly, a widely recognized clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist, talks about her 30 years’ experience researching and exploring ways to keep our brain vibrant in the digital age. It’s a not an easy challenge. Even as the pandemic recedes, there’s still not enough face-to-face time or time spent outdoors; we remain entrenched in a 24-hour news cycle, an enclosed world of social media and streaming; and a largely sedentary lifestyle. Yet each of us has more power than we may think to control aging, says Dr. Kelly. We do have choices and options, but they often require us to be proactive, to change our lifestyle, gain emotional flexibility and revise our personal expectations. A frequent lecturer on neuroscience, health and wellness, and positive psychology, Dr. Kelly will provide her insights on how managing digital technology can help prevent cognitive decline, as well as describe her work with children, researching the impact of digital technology and social media on the development of social skills in youth. Along with her daughter, Kaitlyn Kelly, she founded PositiviTeens Workshops, which provide coaching, and webinars to educate diverse audiences about how digital technology is not only affecting the social skills in youth, but changing developing brains. As a young teen, Kaitlyn was personally impacted by the high school shooting in her childhood hometown of Parkland, Fla., when she witnessed the unfolding violence upon friends and neighbors via unfiltered social media.
Sherry Kelly, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist with more than 30 years’ experience in the field of child development. She is the Co-Chair of the Connecticut Psychological Association’s Child & Family Committee, Chairman of the Parenting & Education Group of The Mental Wellness Society—an international non-profit—and featured lecturer for Meaningful Paths in the United Kingdom. Dr. Kelly began her career as an educational researcher in 1977 at the University of Minnesota Center for Youth Development and Research. Dr. Kelly completed her undergraduate degree in Social Education at Boston University. Dr. Kelly holds multiple master’s degrees in psychology from New York University and Yeshiva University. She earned her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from Yeshiva University in New York. She was a National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fellow. Dr. Kelly is known for her work with children challenged by learning differences, autism, neurodiversity, anxiety, chronic illness, and developmental delays. Her research focused on hopefulness and resilience. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, forbes.com, parents.com, and in past segments on “Good Morning America.” Dr. Kelly and her daughter founded PositiviTeens® Workshops & Webinars to educate students, parents, and teachers about the impact of social media and digital technology on today’s youth. She was a clinician in private practice, a lecturer, and a columnist. Dr. Kelly was also founding board member of Autism After 21, a non-profit program of support, education, and skills training for young adults with special needs. Her office is located in West Hartford, Conn.