It is difficult to find balance, but being aware that we need to find it is key. The first ones who are doing it wrong are us. If we. Adults hyperconnected to mobile phones, computers and tablets. How will they see us?
-Older people's cell phone rings for everything, their watch beeps when they receive a WhatsApp and when they don't know what to do, they look at their phone, reflects Martín, 10 years old.
Shouldn't we be the first to set limits? Clearly yes.
A phrase that is heard a lot in education that is very defining says that: "It is not what you tell them to do, but what they see you do." And it is really important to educate by example and start by limiting our own exposure to technologies.
At Kietoparao we sing "mea culpa" because we don't always do it well: we try to respond to customers as soon as possible, serve suppliers at any time... But that is harming us as an example of responsible use of technologies.
Who hasn't experienced arriving at night, exhausted from the entire day, and sitting on the couch looking at emails, social media... and right on the other side of the couch, your partner, with the same plan. Without even having spoken... is it getting out of hand?
We already talked in this post about the measures that the gurus of the most cutting-edge technology companies in Silicon Valley are taking. Yesterday in the grow connected section of El País, they published a very interesting article going much further.
Where and how do the children of digital gurus study? Did you know that babysitters are, by contract, prohibited from using cell phones?
We are left with two reflections from this post, although there are many:
"Adults who best understand mobile technology and apps want their children away from it. The benefits of screens in early education are limited, they maintain, while the risk of addiction is high. The degree of addiction is more similar to crack"
"While the children of the Silicon Valley elites grow up among blackboards and wooden toys, those of the lower and middle classes grow up glued to screens"
We share a graph that appears in the article about screen use time, by income, in the US:
Common Sense Media study collected in the El País article.
Is it really purchasing power that enables us or not to set limits on the use of technology for our children? I leave it there.
In any case, before the numbers continue to grow, let's get our act together. Clearly, educating our children by example is crucial. We leave you some ideas to get started:
- Turn off all notifications. If it's urgent, they will call you.
- Put a little box where everyone has to leave their cell phone when they enter. Only calls can be answered and not all. Leave calls that may be longer for when they are in bed.
- Find times to check your phone when they are not present. Try to give them as much attention as possible and limit the time you check the phone.
- The weekend maximum disconnection . Leave it in a drawer and you will feel free.
Out of home:
- Don't take your cell phone out to the table . If you take some photos, save it again. You'll post on Instagram later, when they've gone to play.
- On the subway , on the bus... take a book.
- On the street, writing while walking is completely prohibited . Really, nothing is that urgent. And if it is, you have to stop.
We know it is difficult, but it is a matter of being aware and wanting to change it. We are going to try to enjoy the little moments with them, without technology involved. Also start looking at people on the subway, dreaming about plans while you wait for something...
Are you up for this Disconnect to Connect challenge?