Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Time online... All the time?




Watch video here.

A new generation. New technology. New habits. A new way of living. Collision between generations... Be connected. At all times. NEVER disconnect. That is what the tray advert from Mc Donalds say... "Get the latest deal and NEVER EVER disconnect!" Is that what we want?

A baby is crying on the bus. The bus driver is uncomfortable, the other travelers are uncomfortable, the mother is stressed... Someone takes up their latest Vodafone and turns on Dora the Explorer and showing it to the baby who quickly stops crying. Everyone smiles. Thank God the baby is quiet. Thank God for Vodafone. Is this where we are going?

I walk along the beach on a sunny day and during my 200 m walk I see 13 people. They are sitting on benches with views of Lac Léman and the French Alps. You can see Mount Blanc clearly. Some people are just walking down the path... Every single person is staring on their smart phone and has ear phones in their ears. even couples and friends. They don't talk. They surf on their phones and no one sees the beautiful views.

I don't know about you but this development scares me and maybe this is a part of the problem. That I am threaten by the development instead of embracing it. But do I want to embrace this path? Now when adverts are showing up around us in media telling us that this is today's normal, does that mean that we can let go of our fears of online time taking over our lives? Just because we are told this is normal?

It is my greatest challenge as a parent, this new time with technology in every corner of your home, in every pocket of your clothing. This is a new world that I don't understand. When I grew up we didn't even have cartoons on TV. I walked to my friend's house and knocked on the door to see if she was home. If she didn't pick up the phone when I called, I would call again later. I shouldn't compare, but I do.

I don't mind Cyber use, I am a blogger and social media user myself, but how can we find a balance, I wonder... On a rainy day lets give it away to Cyber World but when the sun is shining and a friend is coming over, lets go outside and find an adventure shall we? But I find my children turning more and more into Cyber World and spending less and less time in the real world. I find them on computer devices for hours on end if I'm not there telling them to get off. And when I do it always turns into a fight... It is a daily battle. It is a boring and frustrating battle. They wear me down. And I admit - I give in. For peace. To avoid conflict. But it eats me from the inside.

How do we find a balance, does anyone have any great advice to give? Controlling? Restrictions? Timer software? Earning computer time? Or the freedom to use with responsibility and self control? How do you deal with Cyber World taking over? Do you embrace it or fight it? I honestly feel like just throwing it all out the window and force the whole family onto a Cyber Detox at times. Am I the only one feeling like this, I wonder...

Today we are having a family meeting, our first one ever, to discuss this matter and hopefully we will reach a solution, a balance, that everyone is happy with. I don't think I can forbid things, but we can sure be more aware and restrict ourselves. Time together in real life is after all the only thing that matters.



Kärlek
Annette


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29 comments :

  1. This is a constant Battle With kids and adults in the house. I must admit, I am for hours glued to my Laptop. The kids use their ipads a lot, we tried to have 1 hour and then outside to play for one hour to get 30 minutes more. It worked this summer, but not now.
    If we as a Family spend time together With monopoly or something like that we don't use the Electronics. I think we will loose this Battle, in time...

    Have a Nice day :)

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  2. I totally agree with you and I'm scared too with the amount of time my boys spend on their IPad (Tobia, 13) or IPod (Matteo, 16 1/2).... They have laptops, too, as a lot of their homework has to be sent via internet ..... crazy, crazy world! I 'm aware, that Maputo doesn't allow my boys a walk around by themselves on the beach or on the street and they don't have usual teenagers places to reach.... so, this doesn't help, too!!!!! It's very difficult to find a balance between the real world and the electronic one, I know that. Luckily Matteo still loves to draw on his sketch book, so he put his eyes away from a screen, but with Tobia is harder .... he goes to the bathroom with his IPad, so often I knock on his door and make him give me the electronic item ! All this is not normal to me!!!
    xxxxxxx Ale

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  3. When my daughter (15) answers that its social media and its meant to socialize, I ask her if people really does socialize indeed staring at their screens when they can also talk to the person next to them.... I try to let her think about it herself. But it is hard ;)

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  4. I think perhaps as mine get older I may need to restrict access. Do your chores and then I will enter the internet passcode to allow access. The homework part will be harder to monitor though. At present we have fairly strong restrictions but they are still young and more easily controlled (about an hour a week for 5 and 7 yr olds and about 2 hrs per week for 11 yr old). It scares me very much.

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  5. I totally agree and feel the same way. In my family (husband and 2 kids, one 1y.o and an other of 4 y.o) the only thing that they watch is some cartoons, we only have 4 channels and internet doen't exist for my old boy, he knows that the computer can have some cartoons and us parents choose what he sees and what he enjoys seing them on the TV due to the lack of cartoons adapted to my sons ages... There are days that I never se my phone cell, now with my son in school I try hard to keep it close to me and that is charged. But is not a fancy phone, and I've opted to not have a internet connection as I have it at home, but it frigtens me to see people together an nobody talking with each other or the worse way, talking using the cell phones... and children eating only with tablets and so on, don't desagree the utility of this devices but the way people get their lifes with it... Hopefully your family meeting will put everyone to see that in life there is various ways to live a happy life ! Regards

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  6. Thank you for raising such a problem. I completely agree that people are stuck in the Cyber Space between their computers, laptops, IPhones, IPads and so on ans so forth. They don't see the surroundings. My kids have time for the computer in moderation. I give them 2 hours a day (hope that's enough) for their cyberzombieying. It's a question of parents, I believe. And the society of course. I strong;y support the idea of Bill Clerkson from freelancehouse.co.uk who said: "Keep children away from computers, otherwise you'll never see them healthy".

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  7. Hi Annette, I agree, there is too much time spent on technology. Many teenagers seem to have lost the ability to communicate. My son-in-law spends his whole day on the internet and then is on his mobile phone all evening (it seems to be fused to his hand!!). It is a circle....the less interaction with people the more youngsters become unable to interact and the screen becomes a safety net.(If I'm looking at the screen then I don't have to talk to the people I'm with)
    Like yourself I feel that this is not a good thing, it's becoming a sad world.....but that's another story. Hugs Julie x

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  8. I agree with this common problem and I am lucky to say that I have been successful in controlling/imposing internet usage for my 13 years old daughter. She is allowed internet access that too not more than 3 hrs. on weekends only for entertainment purpose. All other times she is allowed to access for homework/projects but with a strict warning. I know she might have stealthily logged into her email account while doing homework but I give her that benefit of doubt as too much of vigilance would turn her rebellious. So for online gaming/entertainment/music etc. she spends average 5 hrs per week. On weekends we sometimes go out so she isn't left with much time. We play board games or cards on weekends too. There is no restriction during vacation time but she is asked to take breaks in between as it hurts eyesight seeing the screen continuously.
    There are many softwares which will show the amount of app usage and it will cutoff access to that app automatically when you set a time limit. You will have to work hard to spend time with them or enroll them in some hobbies classes they like- trek, theatre workshop, photography , science club, baking etc. I reduced her online time gradually. I told her not to follow the herd and that she can boast off that she is available for online chat only on weekends. There is nothing to see on google+ that cannot wait until weekends. She has another great hobby of reading books, that is good but now I am struggling with her to tell her not to read too much :) I guess I am a bad mom. We end up spending loads of money for her books, sometimes she doesn't find at library.

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  9. Oh Annette, I couldn't agree with you more. Only this morning I told Josh that he would be allowed only a few minutes screen time after school today and then he will have to find something else to do. It is harder in the winter, a month ago he would have been straight outside to play with his friends until dark, just dashing in to eat his dinner before going out again. Now he only gets half an hour (if it's dry outside) to play before it's dark. Abi is 7 years older and he has no siblings his own age and he is sadly growing out of many of his toys. I think it will be a case of lots of family board games this winter, but we are often so tired at the end of the day that it is such an effort to do anything much! But I will have to just push through because it is the only way we can prevent screen time getting out of hand. I am sure too that he settles down at night a lot better if he hasn't had screen time. Thanks for bringing what bothers a lot of us out into the open, we can all beat this and find a compromise that works for us :-) Hugs. x

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  10. So good to hear other parents think about this, just as I am.
    My oldest is 16 and I can't belive how many times you can scroll up and down a phone in a minute..the concentration on the screen.. But also, his friends from school lives all over and/or outside town and they use Snapshat to connect and make plans where to meet. But when they meet? It's 5 boys with their phones not talking? I ask him and he feel embarressed because the answer is yes! But when he hang out with the boys from the floorball team, they play and talking sports instead. He don't even pick up the phone when I call him. So I guess it's the company that will lead the way to or from the phone!

    Our daughter is 6 and loves the ipad. To play or watch movies on. But in her case, I can see my own fault in this matter. What I mean is, she is so used to the nearby technology that opens the most fabulous world with no effort needed. So I have to show her the alternative. If I take her to her room and show her something else to do it's often ok! She don't care about the ipad after a while. We paint together or play with the pearls or so. BUT, when I don't there is always a discussion. I guess what I try to say is that when it comes to little people, as a parent you have a lot of responsible if you think your child is spending too much time with the ipad or tv-games or movies. You have to set the rules. We solved this by letting her choose between ipad-time or watching the childrens show on TV. She can't have both! That is now no problem.
    Also, on sunny summer days there's no ipad time. We save it for rainy days
    When we travel, the ipad-time is unlimited. Such as in the car or on the plane.

    But as you say, why don't grown up people look up more and experience the life and views for real. Instead of through their best instagram pictures?

    I will follow your blog post with a lot of interest!!

    wish you a nice day!

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  11. My kids are only 7 and 9, but for the past two years we have allowed screen time only on weekend mornings. At first it was a big fight, as we had previously allowed a small amount of screen time every day, but after a short time they got in the habit, and it works great for us. They know screen time isn't an option on weekdays so they don't even ask. My husband and I get to sleep in on weekend mornings while they watch cartoons or play on their ipads (we still limit it to 90 minutes on those two mornings). It has solved the problem for us right now, but I know it will be harder as they get older.

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  12. I agree. It's a consist battle and I find it disturbing as well. Mine are older than yours, when my girls were younger they didn't have a cell phone till they were in their teens and soon to be driving. (which they thought was the worst thing ever!) They had just so many hours a day they could watch T.V. and play video games and that was after school work and chores were completed.(A job in itself!) Also no phones at the dinner table, ever. No phone use when driving, for any of us. I would show them any news report about the dangers of it, EVERY news report. lol They knew their driving privilege would be removed if they did. I'm not saying that all of these were followed all the time (except about the driving one) and it was very hard but, I find that it did/does help whatever you are able to accomplish. From my own childhood, I discovered it was better to be their parent and not their friend, you can do one or the other, but when you try to do both it becomes very, very difficult. Now that they are young adults we are friends as well as mother and daughter. Best of luck! It's a hard job and I'm sure you will continue to do well.

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  13. Just visited my niece in Northern California who is in 9th grade (HS). She was required to have an IPad which has most of her textbooks loaded on to it. Other uses include quick tests, homework assignments, essays, etc. I'm sure she also takes notes in class on it too. Her mom upgraded it by adding a keyboard. It was all quite amazing and far from the way I went to school years ago. I believe we need to embrace this new world but also have house rules like No technology at dinnertime, etc.

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  14. Ooh...I think this is a constant battle, all over. Worsened by the fact that my eldest switched to text books on tablet this year - it only helps with the reduced weight of the school bag, nothing else!
    I try to get my outside as much as possible, fill the afternoons with swimming, judo, sport at school, and limit their time on devices - which is not easy to control when one is busy with something! Made more difficult by us setting a connected example - dad's office is his phone, I do things online.

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  15. It's terrible isn't it. Sometimes I wish someone would take mine from me, I mean I get sucked in and look up and it's been hours! (I'm almost 60 by the way) it's all very interesting and beautiful online but somethings not right about it. The things I could've done during those lost hours...and it's sad because our kids don't realize what they've missed. It's normal life to them.

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  16. I dont have children at home anymore, but friends have "no internet times" in the evenings. No internet after 7pm and a no devices policy at the meal table. I think they actually turn off their modem. I hate it when I'm talking with someone and their device pings and they immediately stop talking to me and turn their attention to their device. Why is the device more important to them than I am?

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  17. I gave in. Except that I turn the Wi-Fi on at 10 pm every night. Sad, I know…

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  18. My children are grown and gone but I see this with my grandchildren. I admit that I probably spend too much time online too. It's a delicate balance. I try to stay offline when I'm with family and friends though. They come first. It saddens me that when we go out to eat we'll see families who probably believe that since they're at dinner together it counts as quality family time. We watched a family of four one night. Each of them spent the entire meal on their smartphones, eating with one hand. Never looking at each other or talking to each other. My husband and I were enthralled and kept watching them like it was a bad movie or something. We wanted to go over and tell them to look at each other. One day soon, the kids will be gone and what memories will exist?
    Okay, off my soapbox now. I hope you are able to find a good balance for your family. Technology is here to stay but it doesn't have to take over.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Betsy,
      You made a good point here. Technology is here to stay but it doesn't have to take over. The story you shared saddens me.That is what I don't want. And I won't accept that kind of behaviour. No, compared to that I think our family is doing great after all. Everything is relative and I will find the way for me and my loved ones to live a balanced life between reality and Cyber Space.
      Xxx
      Annette

      Delete
  19. i don't have kids, but i see this problem everywhere with kids and adults. it's a real problem, like some sort of addiction, it grows. people miss out on things that are happening in the moment, or are missing out on that lovely time of just plain being with nothing going on. time with family cannot be replaced, so i hope you and your family can figure out an answer.

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    Replies
    1. Hi
      I agree. It is an addiction. But Internet is also a great source of knowledge. It is about finding the balance and using Cyber space as a tool and not just as entertainment. Thank you for engaging the conversation.
      Xxx
      Annette

      Delete
  20. For those who speak Norwegian, Swedish or Danisch: I wrote a blogpost just about this. It´s about people who's seems to have a lot of contact (on social media) but still are lonely. With a great song of Bert from sesame street ;-)
    http://psyke59gradernord.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78:mye-kontakt-men-fremdeles-ensom&catid=10&Itemid=114

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  21. It's so hard isn't it? We have found a really workable solution for now although we will have to see if it works as they get older. We started a 'voucher' system for the summer holidays as I was worried my youngest would be wanting to spend the whole time on his tablet. I introduced 3 x 15 minute vouchers a day that he could choose to 'spend' as he wished - either in a block or separately or even broken down into 5 minute slots. To start with it was tough and I had to use a timer but he got used to it really quickly and he enjoyed feeling that he was in control. He ended up using only 2 vouchers a day and we have stuck with that! Both my boys are now really good at coming off their devices, they even choose to put it down before their time is up sometimes and most weeks they use fewer than half their vouchers. We have a basket to keep devices in downstairs (none upstairs) and at mealtimes. It works for us for now and a friend of mine has started the same system and it has really helped her little boy too. Good luck everyone!

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  22. Same concerns here. My five year old doesn't need internet so far and for my 11 year old I personally monitor while browsing for school project. We have made it strict that they can play on mobiles for an hour in the weekends. the situation isn't worse for time being

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  23. In our home, the guidelines were no technology at the dinner table or bathroom. All technological devices slept (recharged in the home office) overnight. My children were the pioneering teenage generation of always connected now in their twenties therefore I could quickly see the impact this had in our daily lives. Another rule I had during high school years was all technology went to bed at 8.30pm, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm you spend this hour, with your family playing board games, watching a TV show with the rest of the family or reading an old fashioned paper book. This nightly hour was a great bonding time for our family, and I have fond memories of my children having wonderful conversations and showing their insights to me. At university age this all goes out the window, and my home become a mini campus, I had 3 university students and 1 high school student during this period, my advice to parents is invest in ear plugs, the constant tapping on 4+ keyboards simultaneously, though not a loud noise, is very irritating to a tired parent in the evening when we(parents) need some quiet time after our days work.

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  24. I am so glad we didn't have to deal with this when our son was small. Home computers were just becoming mainstream when he was in middle school & by the time he left home it was common. We did struggle with too much tv & video game time - I know it doesn't sound th esame but the struggle & battles were just as hard.

    I'm already planning on how I will deal with this with grandchildren. We were very strict about meal times - no tv on, no headphones, ect...& I plan to enlist that rule again for family dinners. That means I will ask even my adult children not to have their phones at the table during family meals. I'm thinking this won't be too much to ask since family meals with extended family is rare but I'm hoping they'll make the same rules in their own home.

    I think having a no electronic time that is non-negotiable, like meal times, family celebrations ect should be a given. The battles will be smaller if you you never give in on a set time. It's the give & take rules that cause the biggest battles.

    Even in 2016 my husband & I neither one own a cell phone (& I am not yet 50) so I guess we have a little edge against the temptation this way. We realise eventually we will have to give in to getting one because we've discovered that we'll need it to do every day business before long.

    I found this post through a link on the 'Down to Earth' blog - very good read.

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  25. That is definitely a burning topic for me personally. If not the Internet, I would have enough time for my friends and for my studying. By the way, good that there are some helpers as these high quality custom paper writers who are ready to assist you 24/7 without any hesitation.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I totally agree with you that nowadays children spend all their time playing with their gadgets. IT IS A VERY BIG TROUBLE. Parents must care about their children. Thanks for this interesting post. I am hoping the same best work from you in future. By the way -
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    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting my world. I love reading your comments and I do my utterly best to respond to questions and sweet messages. Thank you again for popping by.

Kärlek
Annette

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