Friday 24 June 2016

Question: Would We Be Better Off Without the Internet?

Apparently Sunday 26 June is National Unplugging Day. It was brought about by parents in the UK who think that technology is taking over their lives and is damaging their children. The are urging individuals to unplug on Sunday 26 June 2016 in celebration of the second annual National Unplugging Day.

The idea is that by turning off their smartphones, tablets and computers for 24 hours people can experience a day of life unplugged - they way it used to be before the internet and mobile phones were invented. The day of unplugging recognises the value of technology in today's society while trying to encourage people - especially families and children who have grown up with ever-present technology - to be more mindful of their digital usage. This day is not intended to be a one-off, but rather a starting point to encourage people of all ages to embrace a healthy lifestyle by regularly setting aside time away from their digital devices.

According to information from National Unplugging Day organisers, some parenting experts have warned that digital devices are harming relationships, stopping the young from developing face-to-face communication skills and teaching children that disappearing into digital devices for hours is a healthy activity.

Parenting website MyFamilyClub carried out a study with more than 2,000 parents from across the UK, which found that the average parent spends up to 5 hours per day on a smartphone. Typically their children are spending similar times using screens with 80% of children spending 4-5 hours per day on digital devices and with 15% of children spending in excess of 6 hours of screen time across various devices.

Nearly all the parents surveyed (87%) said that technology is damaging to their children’s childhood and nearly all the parents surveyed (94%) wanted the tech industry to help educate them and offer guidelines for safe usage. The statistics also show that more than half of parents (51%) would like to go back to the days of no technology or smartphones and a life less complicated.

The survey also discovered that 41% of parents agreed that family times are ruined from digital distractions and 42% of parents said they use technology to calm their children down or to stop family arguments.

Parenting expert Gemma Johnson founder of says “As a parent I experience the struggle trying to juggle work and family life and the additional demands of existing in a digital world. We all lead busy lives but it is so important to lead by example with our device usage, boundaries are set by the parents first We want to encourage the nation to put away their digital devices, unplug and pledge to spend time doing something different with their children such as going out for a bike ride, going the park, learning a new activity or taking a walk in the woods.”

I think the idea of National Unplugging Day could appeal to many pagans with young children. As for me, I will be at Glastonbury Festival on 26 June and I won't be turning off my mobile phone as it is the best way to find out where my friends if we get separated in the massive festival site.

But what do you think?  Will you be unplugging on Sunday?  Do you think we were better off in the days before the internet and mobile phones?

Links and previous related post


Anonymous said...

No I don't think I will be unplugging , being an old guy now I can remember before these things, it really is hard to say if we were better off without them they are now so much part of life, I only know I would really miss my computer.


Lorelei Bell said...

Oops. Since I am reading this on Sunday, I guess not. But I do, on certain days, do very little. I remember when people didn't have such technology. It has caused young people to become strangers to one another, unless they are on facebook or whatever. I see them all so focused on their contraptions [I don't own a 'smart phone', and never want one] that I've had to bring my 2 ton bus down to a sudden halt. And they STILL won't look up at me, even though they could have been crushed!

As far as the question "were we better off"? I'm not sure, since publishing traditionally was out of my reach. I now have a publisher because I've self-published, and am happy to at least have that. But that would be my selfish aim, I guess.