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Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

Study: Smartphones are a Bigger Concern than TV

January 7, 2015

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Kids are spending way too much time in front of a screen. In my day the warnings about the dangers of television were very prevalent. Now the smartphone and gaming console seem to have overtaken it on the parental danger list:

 

Having a smartphone in a child’s bedroom translates to less sleep, more fatigue, and later bedtimes, according to a new study. Researchers at UC Berkeley found that kids who slept in the same room as a cellphone, smartphone or iPod touch — what they call “small screens” — got almost 21 minutes fewer sleep than those who didn’t. They also went to bed, on average, 37 minutes later than those without phones in their rooms. (Those who slept in the same room as a TV, meanwhile, got only 18 minutes fewer sleep; the TVs were also associated with a 31-minute delay in bedtime.)

In the study of more than 2,000 fourth and seventh graders, published Monday, 54 percent said they slept near a smartphone. “Small screens are especially concerning because they are a portal to social media, videos and other distractions, and they emit notifications that can disrupt sleep,” Dr. Jennifer Falbe, a postdoctoral research fellow at UC Berkely and the lead author of the study, tells Yahoo Parenting. “Parents should keep screen media out of bedrooms, limit screen time, and set a curfew of an hour before bedtime.” 

Falbe says her recommendations are based on the overall literature that excessive screen media can be harmful to children’s health. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids spend no more than one to two hours a day on recreational screen time, which Falbe says is a good rule of thumb. 

 

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Nobody Should Love Their Phone THAT Much!

May 14, 2013

 

galaxyEverything seems to be pitched at impressionable kids nowadays. Films have become less sophisticated, television near juvenile and marketers are seeing the exploitation of children as their gold mine.

Today I saw the above advertisement whilst going shopping, and it struck me how deceitful and pathetic its message is. Obviously pitched at impressionable people without a large quantity of “real companions”, Samsung is telling prospective consumers that their product will be your friend for life. There are plenty of children out there who are extremely lonely that will identify with the notion that technology is their only friend.

Unfortunately, to make matters worse, the advertisement wants us to link the universal aspiration of living a happy and fulfilling life to selecting the right Smartphone. It is saying:

‘To all you lonely, disaffected and unhappy people out there, buy this and you will have friends and a rich and rewarding life.’

The challenge of making friends and enjoying life is extremely crucial to young people and for it to be used against them in the name of selling a product is rather sad.

I know that’s the way the world works, but I don’t have to like it!

 

Click on the link to read Parents Shouldn’t Be in Denial Over This Very Real Addiction

Click on the link to read Video Game Addiction is Real and Very Serious!

Click on the link to read Internet Addiction and our Children

Click on the link to read Issues Relating to Kids and Video Games

Click on the link to read Are you Addicted to the Internet?

 

Teens Require the Latests High-Tech Gadgets to Function Socially: Bittman

July 2, 2012

Are parents derelict in their duties if they refuse to buy their children the latest gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, game consoles and i-pods?

Absolutely not!

On the contrary, it can be argued that any parent that buys those items when they can’t afford to, is derelict in their duties:

IT was dubbed the “digital divide” – the gap between the haves and the have nots in the computer age.

But far from missing out on the electronic essentials of modern life, new research shows children from poorer families are keeping up with wealthier counterparts.

High-tech ownership is consistent across all income levels, research by insurer GIO reveals, with the average teen owning $1882.06 worth of equipment.

And tech-savvy teens are much more likely to own computer equipment than sports gear or a musical instrument.

About 42 per cent of kids own a laptop, while half own mobile phones and more than three in five own an MP3 music player such as an iPod. But less than a third of kids own sporting equipment or a musical instrument.

Sociology expert Dr Michael Bittman said most of the devices were essential for teens to function socially.

I disagree vehemently with Dr. Bittman. Teens do not need the latest devices, they need to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. They need to respect the volatile nature of the economy and the hardships their parents face in ensuring that they have the necessities.

Teens would be best advised to worry less about their social standing and more about how they could contribute to their family, rather than run their family budget dry.

The Overwhelming Challenge of Supervising Childrens’ Online Activity

April 25, 2012

There used to be a standard rule for parents about supervising their childrens’ internet surfing – make sure you take the computer out of their bedroom and into the living room. No longer does this rule work. With the introduction of 3G and 4G technology, lap tops, smartphones and mobile gaming consoles which all connect to the internet, our children can be online without even using a computer.

The challenges for parents are becoming so difficult:

An Ofcom study last year found that 91 per cent of children live in a household with internet access, but that only half of parents of five to 15-year-olds supervised their children’s internet use. A further three million children aged eight to 15 have a smartphone, according to a YouGov survey published in January.

Increasingly, there are fears about the content children are accessing, whether deliberately or by mistake, when they are unsupervised online.

Last week, a cross-party group of MPs warned that it was too easy for children to view pornography. They called for legislation to force internet providers to block access automatically to pornographic websites.

The potential for teenagers to outwit their parents is frequently used as an argument for network-level filtering. Its supporters argue that too many parents lack the technical know-how to secure their computers properly and too few will opt in to a filtering system that is not compulsory.

Set against that are free speech concerns: is it right that an internet provider decides which content is acceptable to be viewed and which should be banned? How do they decide what constitutes “adult” content – and what happens if they get it wrong?

Further, as Nicholas Lansman, of the Internet Service Providers Association, argues, such technology can give parents a false sense of security, leading to less active monitoring of what children are up to online. Filters can fail or be circumvented, and left to their own devices, teenagers will find a way to get what they want.

Technology can help but it can only go so far. Parents must set boundaries and discuss the risks with their children.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, says: “It is very important to talk to your child about being safe online, taking them through the risks and what they mean. This includes not just your home PC, but anywhere where internet access is involved – including mobile phones and game consoles.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions to get a sense of what they are getting up to online.”

Issues Relating to Kids and Video Games

January 3, 2012

 

Excessive video game use and high rates of video game addiction lead to much anguish from concerned parents. Many parents never saw the addictive pull of video games as an issue when they bought consoles for their kids or allowed them to have a computer in their bedrooms. I read a very interesting piece by writer, Scott Steinberg, on the major issues relating to children and video games.

He examines some of the most common concerns parents have about video games:

– Amount of Play Time
– Age Appropriateness
– Health and Obesity
– Addiction
– Safety Concerns
– Violence, Aggression and Misbehavior

The issue of particular interest to me was the video game addiction section. Video game addiction is not a term we hear very often, but I’m afraid it will be widely familiar in the next few years.

  • Addiction– For some kids, there is a real danger of becoming too involved in playing games, or even in living too much of their lives in the virtual world of the Internet. In rare cases, true symptoms of addiction can develop, and such kids can require direct help from their parents, peers, and professionals to have a healthy, balanced life. While a change of environment and routine can sometimes be enough to break kids out of an addictive mindset, the reality is that it’s hard to prohibit kids from using technology on a regular basis, since it’s such an integral part of daily life. Many experts encourage parents to become more engaged in the addictive activity in an effort to better understand the problem and prospective solutions. They also encourage families to seek out professional help should children exhibit warning signs of addiction. Several of these warning signs, according to the Search Institute, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to creating healthy communities, and other sources, include:
  • Playing for increasing amounts of time
  • Lying to family and friends about video game usage
  • Thinking about gaming during other activities
  • Using video games to escape from real-life problems or bad feelings, as well as anxiety or depression
  • Becoming restless or irritable when attempting to stop playing video games
  • Skipping homework in order to play video games
  • Doing poorly on a school assignment or test because of time spent playing video games

I urge parents to spot the signs before the addiction gets completely out of hand. It may even be worth reading Mr. Steinberg’s book, “The Modern Parent’s Guide to Kids and Video Games,” which will be free to download at www.ParentsGuideBooks.com in February 2012.


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