Busy, busy, busy - Here’s another recent article: this one from Mail Online. Getting the opportunity to actually go to London to promote my book was amazing. (Topshop? OMG. Don’t get me started …!) The thing is, that sort of thing doesn’t happen when you live in Western Australia.
There were lots of reasons why we pulled the plug on all electronic media in our home?…?or should I say why I did, because heaven knows my children would have sooner volunteered to go without food, water or hair products.
My children Anni, 18, Bill, 15, and Sussy, 14, don’t just use media. They inhabit it. They don’t remember a time before email, instant messaging or Google.
They are part of a generation that cut its teeth, literally and figuratively, on a keyboard. They’ve had mobile phones and wireless internet longer than they’ve had molars. They multi-task their lives alongside their iPods, Facebook and phone texts, as their instant messenger pulses in the background like some distant tribal TomTom.
I initiated ‘The Experiment’, as it became known, because over a period of years I had watched and worried as the plethora of electronic gadgets in our home began to create a force field — separating my children from what my son, only half ironically, called ‘RL’ (Real Life).
For much of the time we were sitting in separate rooms of the house, hunched over our devices, barely communicating. It had to be unhealthy.
All the research I had read seemed to suggest that constant exposure to television, online media, social websites, texting and computer games could be detrimental to children’s well-being, school performance, sleeping habits and even arrest the development of their social, intellectual or spiritual skills.
And to be honest, the teenagers weren’t the only ones in our house with dependency issues.