Thursday, 25 February 2016

Digital Addiction

Digital Addiction

Digital addiction can loosely be described as the need to spend time in front of a screen - TV, Computer, Laptop, Tablet, Cell Phone – so that the allow can play computer games (online or not), watch TV, surf the internet or use Social Media.

Technology is a poor substitute for personal interaction. Personal interaction develops social and emotional intelligence, necessary life skills.
Parents / teachers concerned about possible digital addiction in their charges should consider the following symptoms:
  1. An inability to be without their phone due to fear of missing out (FOMO)
  2. Excessive engaging in digital behaviours  i.e. over a longer period than originally agreed 
  3. Unsuccessful efforts to stop, curb or control those behaviours  
  4. Irrational behaviour when access to or engagement with technology is denied 
  5. Uncontrolled depression
  6. Frequently engaging in digital activities at the expense of academic, domestic or social obligations 
  7. Impact on social or recreational activities because of the digital behaviour

Are you suffering from cell phone addiction?

  1. Are you on your phone during social situations?
  2. Do you carry your smartphone everywhere, even to the bathroom?
  3. Do you go to sleep and wake up looking at your phone?

Try these simple steps to break the habit!
1.     Create Boundaries
a.     Put your phone on silent
b.     Stop alert notifications
2.     Designate a time to check in
a.     Stick to that time
b.     During social time put your cell phone someplace where you won't hear or see it
3.     DON'T sleep with your phone
4.     Try a full detox for a few days and then implement the above

How do you, as a parent guide your children on internet access, especially with younger children?

How you choose to handle internet access will depend on your personal circumstances. Our recommendation is that young children are not given access without parental supervision / permission.
Some suggestions include:
  • have an open door policy i.e. no internet behind closed doors
  • install a ‘Kid Safe’ browser and only allow internet access via this browser
  • password protect your home WiFi
  • lock access to the App store with a pin code