They are very useful and can enhance our lifestyles, at the moment however, I constantly see negative influences in our lives.
When I leave Fowey River Academy at the end of the day, I pass parents who have just picked up their children from Fowey Primary School and I am shocked at how many parents are walking down the road reading texts, Facebook or Instagram or generally on the phone. There has been numerous changes to the UK law around mobile phones and driver distraction.
ROSPA issues a driver distraction factsheet in which they make this statement:
Worryingly, distracted drivers underestimate the effects that distraction has on them, and do not perceive their reduced awareness or their ability to spot hazards. This may be because they are still looking at the road straight ahead and are not gathering the whole picture of the road around the vehicle.ROSPA driver distraction factsheet
When I see parents ignoring their children in favour of their phone it causes me some bother! What is happening to those children as you are using your phone walking alongside a busy road? Do you know or like a car driver are you distracted? What is worse using a mobile phone has a deeper effect causing tension, conflicts and negative interactions. Toggling between using a mobile phone and your children causes emotional tension and will disrupt family routines.
The answer is not to ditch your mobile phone but to ask yourself some serious questions on how you use your phone. Is it time to have a distraction free period of interaction with you and your children. Set a time for when they return from school and spend quality time with them. During this period remove your phone from the area or even better simply turn it off.
Children and young people react negatively to the use of smartphones and using them can create negative emotions within children that you might not even be aware is happening. Using your phone during ‘play’ time reduces your focus on your children with fewer verbal and non-verbal interactions. Mobile phones have a way of demanding your attention that other distractions don’t even cooking!
My plea is for us to start dictating to the how we will use it not the phone dictating use to us.