“Parent’s Mobile Use Harms Family Life” say High School Students
Well, here’s a turning of the tables. A recent survey found:
- More than a third of 2,000 11 to 18-year-olds said they had asked their parents to stop checking their devices.
- 14% said their parents were online at meal times, although 95% of 3,000 parents, polled separately, denied it
- 82% of students felt meal times should be device-free
- 22% said the use of mobiles stopped their families enjoying each other’s company
- 36% had asked their parents to put down their phones
- Of pupils who had asked their parents to put down their phones, 46% said their parents took no notice while 44% felt upset and ignored.
- Only a minority of parents (10%) believed their mobile use was a concern for their children – although almost half (43%) felt they spent too much of their own time online
- 37% said they were online between three and five hours a day at weekends
- 5% said it could be up to 15 hours a day over a weekend
- Almost three-quarters of pupils (72%) said they were online between three and 10 hours a day – but for 11% this could rise to 15 hours at weekends and holidays and 3% said it could reach 20 hours.
- Vhildren’s greatest worry about their own online use was lack of sleep, with 47% highlighting it as a major concern.
Mike Buchanan, headmaster of Ashford School in Kent and chairman of the HMC, which represents leading private schools, said it was time for parents, teachers and pupils “to rewrite the rulebook” on mobile devices, which “have become an integral part of life at school, work and play”.
“Our poll shows that children are aware of many of the risks associated with overuse of technology but they need the adults in their lives to set clear boundaries and role model sensible behaviour.
Infographic: How is your phone changing you?
In addition to viewing the infographic, you can also download a PDF version (one page, multiple pages) for easy sharing and printing. Also see Tony Reinke’s new book: 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You.
The Addiction that’s Worse than Alcohol or Drug Abuse
If you think it’s just fuddy-duddy Christians concerned about digital addiction, here’s another BBC article:
In the last few years, the number of patients seeking help from Nathan Driskell, a therapist in Houston, Texas in the US, for so-called social media addiction rose 20% and now make up almost half of his patients, he says. Interestingly, clients asking for help with computer-game addiction have somewhat declined, he says.
In some ways, the psychological impact caused by Facebook, Snapchat and other digital platforms can be more difficult to treat than other recognised addictions, Driskell says. “It’s worse than alcohol or drug abuse because it’s much more engaging and there’s no stigma behind it,” he says. Driskell charges $150 per hour and works with patients on a weekly basis for at least six months.
The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel
Who knew?! The study concludes:
The full story when it comes to online social media use is surely complex. Exposure to the carefully curated images from others’ lives leads to negative self-comparison, and the sheer quantity of social media interaction may detract from more meaningful real-life experiences. What seems quite clear, however, is that online social interactions are no substitute for the real thing.
The Tech Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Proper Place by Andy Crouch. You can see a video for the book below and here’s an interview with Crouch. One of the key passages in the interview is where he discusses the most important question that opens the book:
Am I arranging my life in such a way that develops wisdom? In terms of the core spiritual disciplines, I think of solitude, silence, and fasting as well as communion, conversation, and feasting. None of those six things has anything, really, to do with technology, except that technology messes them all up and really interferes with them.
More Digital Detox Resources here.