Digital detox for children
Children are hooked on computers. Some spend up to six hours a day on their gadgets. They can be playing games live with others elsewhere in the world, updating their status on social media, texting friends or looking for the latest app to download to their tablets or smartphones.
This worried Martin Strott. He's the headmaster of the Old Hall School in Wellington, in the west of England. He was so concerned that he challenged his students to take part in a week of 'digital detox'.
Strott told the local newspaper, the Shropshire Star, that he encourages the pupils to be computer-savvy from a young age, but is concerned that too much screen time will affect the development of their social skills. He said that this over-reliance on digital devices "erodes family time and they're missing out on messages from body language and facial expressions from those around them".
According to the headmaster, the parents are happy with the initiative. But what about the children? Nine-year-old Fred usually spends around two hours on his gadgets at home after school and around 12 hours on weekends. For him, the digital detox experience was "really hard". Fred spent it playing outside, especially cricket. He said that he'll probably engage in different activities from now on but he did miss his phone and online games.
The idea of keeping children away from their tech for a while to prevent 'addiction' is not particularly new. There have been similar initiatives in the US. But are they effective in the long run? Well, even if kids go back to their gadgets, the hope is that at least they'll think about how they use their time.
What about you: do you spend too many hours hooked on your digital devices?
to be hooked on
to update (their) status