Friday, 24 June 2016
Question: Would We Be Better Off Without the Internet?
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 MyFamilyClub.co.uk 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?
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