Parents and Electronic Devices: Taking Time Out?

We’ve all seen them. Perhaps people have seen one of us. The temptation to use a phone or smart device,  no matter where we are or what we are doing — even when we are with our kids — is way, way too strong.

I keep seeing children being pushed around by people (parents?) on telephones.  Sometimes children are playing along in yards or parks, not watched over because the parents are tapping or merely talking on their smart phones. The trouble is, this used to be quality time – enjoyable and relaxed interaction — pointing out dogs, discovering leaves, and learning new words for all sorts of things.

Read Anybody: Parents are Ignoring their Children for their Blackberry in the February 1. 2011 Washington Post. Here’s a short quote, but check out the whole article.

“It’s now children who are complaining about their parents’ habits,” says clinical psychologist and MIT professor Sherry Turkle, who interviewed more than 300 young people and 150 adults for her new book,” Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.”

What she found, over and over again, was children who feel that their parents often pay less attention to them than to their smartphones, particularly at mealtime, in the car at school pickup and during games or sport events – but even, on occasion, during bedtime stories.

Maybe it’s time for lots of us to disconnect completely — maybe even putting the digital device away and out of sight — when we are with family and especially with our children. We need to schedule time-out.

One thought on “Parents and Electronic Devices: Taking Time Out?

  1. Pingback: Sherry Turkle TED Lecture-Connected but Alone? « Media! Tech! Parenting!

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