Dr. Richard Freed
I didn’t seek out the study of children’s use of technology so much as it found me. As a child and adolescent psychologist, I’ve worked with hundreds of families that report similar problems: their children’s overuse of entertainment technologies is undercutting their connection with family and school. Such experiences inspired me to delve into the latest research where I found evidence of a national problem affecting a generation of youth. I offer both the latest science and the stories of children and families I work with in Wired Child.
My vocation as child and adolescent psychologist also, at least to an extent, found me. In college, I wasn’t sure about my career path. I chose to study business/economics and later became a CPA, with the intent of working in a nonprofit that assisted children and families. However, while working in business, I also volunteered with the Special Olympics, and it was this and similar experiences which helped me recognize that I wanted to work directly with kids, so I returned to graduate school to study psychology.
Born in San Francisco, I currently live just east of there in Walnut Creek, California. While the Bay Area is a hotbed for tech innovation, I find that many of those who work or live in and around Silicon Valley are quite concerned about the wired lives lived by our children. I spent my elementary and middle school years in Kansas, which helped show me the magnificence of nature, and I did much of my psychology training in the learning center of Boston, which sparked my interest in research. I attended the California School of Professional Psychology and completed my postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge Hospital / Harvard Medical School.
My present-day life is defined by working alongside my wife to raise two amazing daughters, practicing as a clinical psychologist and supervisor, studying the effects of children’s technology, and speaking on parenting in the age of digital technology. I am also on the advisory board of Families Managing Media and a contributor to the Huffington Post.
Living in a home as the only male (save for one of the two cats we adopted) has required some adjustments. I have been unsuccessful in convincing my family about the beauty of classic cars. I am thankful, however, that my wife and girls are kind enough to humor me by attending the occasional car show, and then may considerately ask me questions such as what is the difference between a V-6 and a V-8.