Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Survey shows children complain about time parents spend on devices

Parents often complain about the time children spend on the cell phones especially during important family bonding times like dinner. 

However, a new survey in the United States shows that children aren't the only culprits. Parents, too, spend an inordinate time on their devices much to the dismay of their kids.  

The survey shows that more than half of parents have been told by their children to put their cell phones away during meals.

The survey shows that parents across the country are almost unanimous in their belief that disconnecting from devices during mealtime improves family bonding, with nearly half (42 percent) not able to remember the last time their family had a device-free meal and some going so far as to disconnect their modems to stop their children’s Wi-Fi usage.

The nationwide study of parents, conducted by Wakefield Research, also found:

  • Dinnertime is bonding time – Nearly every (98 percent) parent surveyed agrees that disconnecting from devices during mealtime improves family bonding.
  • Parents can set an example – More than half (52 percent) of parents have been told by their children to put their device away during meals.
  • Device-free meals are rare – More than two in five parents (42 percent) can’t remember the last time their family had a device-free meal. And Millennial parents have an especially hard time remembering the last time they broke bread without a device at the table (49 percent), compared to Gen Xers (37 percent) and Boomers (33 percent).
  • Sneaking screen time - Parents admit to taking away their children’s devices an average of once per week and more than half (56 percent) have found their children trying to sneak their devices when they were banned from them.
  • Going to extremes to disconnect – nearly one-third (31 percent) of parents make their children leave their devices in a basket before bedtime, while 14 percent go so far as to disconnect their modems to stop Wi-Fi usage.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that parents develop personalised plans for their children’s device use, warning that excessive screen-time can displace important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, and sleep. The AAP has even developed a media time calculator to help parents better track and manage usage.

“Technology should adapt to meet our customers’ needs, not the other way around,” said Eric Schaefer, Senior Vice President of Internet and Communications Services for Comcast Cable. 

Earlier this year, Comcast launched Xfinity xFi, a new way for customers to personalise, monitor, and control their home Wi-Fi, including the ability to instantly pause Wi-Fi connectivity by user or device. The “pause device” feature is now the most popular xFi function, with users tapping “pause” about five million times since launch, most often between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. 


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