By Sandra Quinn
Earlier this week, through an in-depth interview with Belinda Parmar, the founder of the tech blog Lady Geek, The Guardian revealed that someone who fought for technology was now locking away her family’s devices in a safe.
In the interview, Parmar said that she wanted to address the damage that technology can do to our mental health, even though it was the devices that she was locking away which made her a living.
Here in Horizon Globex, it just made us wonder about the effects of technology on the family unit.
This writer has heard parents admit that their child’s attitude changes during ‘screen time’ – that when children are told that it is time to turn off the Playstation, Wii or Xbox that they get irritable, argumentative, snappy and stubborn.
Let’s turn that around and look at adults – most children know that their parents are happiest when they get home from work and sit down for the evening, but what happens when that parent doesn’t really switch off from work?
Think about it, a decade ago, employees went into the office, did their work and went home and were none the wiser about any problems until the following working day.
Now, with things like Instagram, blogs, Twitter, email notifications to your phone, instant messaging services, Facebook and LinkedIn, we are all constantly switched on and in work mode.
Looking at how to change people’s attitudes to technology, Parmar is now launching a campaign and website called thetruthabouttech.com to offer practical tips on using technology in a way that won’t reduce your quality of life.
According to many experts in the field, it is not so much about how often you use technology, but rather why you are using it.
As an adult, think about whether you go onto things like Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook in order to find things out about the world and be informed or if you are online searching for validation.
Similarly, are the children playing video games for four hours at a time because they really want to get to the next level or because they are avoiding something in the real world?
In a world with so much technology, it is always a good idea to make time for the real things in life, such as sitting down together for family meals, banishing screens from the bedroom (for both adults and children), getting the family together to go out, enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise and ensuring that everyone gets enough sleep.