Parents urged to ditch their smartphones

Would you switch off your phone for more family time?

 

Image: Suzanne PlunkettImage: Suzanne Plunkett

Mums and dads are being urged to turn off their devices and take a break from technology on Sunday, 28th June 2015.

As part of the second annual National Unplugging Day in the UK, leading parenting website MyFamilyClub.co.uk, is asking individuals and families to put down their smartphones, tablets and computers for 24 hours to experience life unplugged.

A study involving more than 6,000 parents by the organisation has revealed what they have called "striking statistics".

They found the average parent with a smartphone, uses it 240 times a day, for social media, emails and texts.

Gemma Johnson CEO and founder of MyFamilyClub.co.uk says: “As a parent I experience the struggle trying to juggle work and family life and the additional demands of existing in a digital world.

"We all lead busy lives but it is so important to lead by example with our device usage, boundaries are set by the parents first.

"We want to encourage the nation to put away their digital devices, unplug and pledge to spend time doing something different with their children such as going out for a bike ride, going to the park, learning a new activity or taking a walk in the woods.”

Parenting experts have highlighted their concern that the use of digital technologies are actually teaching children bad habits, with many using their parents' devices and disappearing into the online world for hours on end.

Researchers say the move to "go unplugged" could help improve family relationships and strengthen communication within the family unit.

Findings from the survey also show that on average the first click by mums and dads on their phone is between 7-8 am - some may not have even checked their children are awake.

Around 20 per cent admitted using their phone before 6am, with 22 per cent making midnight their last click at night.

Half of those questioned said they log into Facebook or other social media before doing anything else.

Johnson added: "I'm urging all individuals to check how much they are using technology and look at the impact it is having on those around you.

"I certainly didn’t realise how much time I was spending on my smart phone until my oldest son pointed it out, this is why this campaign is so important to me.”

Sleeping next to their phone was another thing half of parents admitted to doing.

The idea behind National Day of Unplugging looks to recognise the value and importance of technology.

It aims to encourage people, especially families and young children, to be more mindful of their digital usage.

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