28th April, 2017

Are mobile devices affecting your family?

By Matt J

A recent article published by the BBC reports that ‘An overuse of mobile phones by parents disrupts family life, according to a survey of secondary pupils.’

An alarming amount of pupils who took part in the survey claim that they have previously had to ask their parents to stop using their mobile devices, some even reported this happening at meal time. However only a small percentage of parents felt that they spent too much time on their devices.

This can raise a lot of questions about how online and mobile usage can affect how families spend time together. While mobile devices have plenty of advantages, such as; ease of keeping in touch, ability to capture photos quickly while you’re all together and searching the internet in seconds, they can also have a detrimental effect on family life.

What might only seem like a quick scroll through Facebook or Instagram, can turn into half an hour gone in the blink of an eye, involved in an online world and not communicating in the real world.

It’s not just parents that this happens to though, children are using mobile devices just as much, if not more. In some cases, children are using their mobile devices late into the night and this can lead to sleep deprivation.

Asking your child to use their phone less, will be much less effective if you’re an avid user of technology yourself, as they will find this unfair and dismiss your request.

Setting aside a set amount of time everyday for family time is a great idea for both parents and children. If you’ve all been caught up in virtual life for a while, you’ll be surprised at what stuff you may have missed. Setting aside one day a weekend to go out as a family and have a meal together, with no technology, can be great for strengthening your family relationship.

Having a strong family bond also helps encourage children to come to you with any problems they may be having (online and offline), which can be greatly important in solving any issues and helping your child stay safe.

What are your thoughts on having some family ‘offline’ time? Is this something that you’d like to do or maybe already implement? Let us know what you think and also any other advice you may have in the comments below.

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