Last week, I was chatting with a friend. The conversation was about a challenging day I’d had with my 12-year-old daughter.
My daughter, who is by nature is sporty, creative, funny and a joy to be around was no longer that. On this particular day, my daughter and I had battled all day over the amount of screen time she was allowed to have.
I shared this with my friend, adding that the stress and discourse of the battle had created unnecessary tension in our usually peaceful home. So much so, I wanted to create a hashtag, #technology-give-me-my-daughter-back, and post it on Twitter.
My friend listened.
As friends do, she had gone away, reflected, and processed our conversation. A few days later, she sent me a link to a compelling article written by Katharine Birbalsingh –Technology menaces childhood and culture.
The link included a quick note from her, Dear Apple – can I have my kid back?
To summarise, the article highlighted the impact technology has on children, the need to continue to raise awareness of restricted screen time, and the consequences of not doing so.
The quote I have chosen to share, further supports my post from yesterday – the value of the narrative.
But a story with a beginning, middle and end is a thing of the past these days. Snapchat and Instagram provide 10-second recordings where you follow someone as they film themselves with their smartphone, walking down the street — “Just on my way back from the hairdressers.” No moral at the end of the story and no attention span required to follow it.
Reflecting on the article and ‘battle day’, I have a few next steps:
- Role model – disconnect from technology.
- Talk, talk, talk, to as many people who will listen about unplugging.
- Read, read, read and talk about reading.
- Say no when friends come over for playdates and ask for the Wifi password.
- Retweet the article, Technology menaces childhood and culture on Twitter.
I am happy to say, that since ‘battle day’, the restrictions have had a positive impact on my daughter.