Monday, February 15, 2016

Mobile Etiquette and iGuilt

Mobile devices shouldn't be barriers between you and your child's, or grandchild's activities. Letting your child be a part of your phone's use , and avoidng any "phubbing" of a child (snubbng another's presence while on your mobile phone) helps reduce iGuilt.

iGuilt- Do you suffer from this dreaded affliction? 

They call it iGuilt. It's become an increasingly common sight at Saturday morning sport as parents tap away at their phones, missing little Jimmy's goal. Some parents don't even realise what they're doing while others readily admit they devote more attention to their iPhone than to their child. The modern world is filled with technological distractions, from smartphones to laptops to iPads, which are increasingly hard to switch off. 

Netsafe director and father of a 4 and 8-year-old, Martin Cocker admitted smartphones sometimes interfered with his parenting. His job means he needs to always be contactable by media and colleagues and so he always has his phone on and with him. "If I get messages, I check them and if my phone rings, I answer it because it might be work-related. But the bulk of the time, of course, it's not." 

Mr. Cocker said smartphone technologies were deliberately designed to keep people engaged. "It's designed to get you using it and to keep you using, making it harder to pull away." They do that because they don't make money in a traditional way. You don't pay to use a lot of the services that people are constantly using on their smartphones, but the more you use it the more the companies who own the apps can sell the advertising for," he said.       
Setting up a structure for tech use early in your children's lives helps keep tech tantrums and tech overuse to a minimum.
As well, new technologies have removed the ability to stop working when you leave the office, meaning work inevitably creeps into home life. Mother of two and iPhone user Rochelle Gribble admitted she's fallen victim to iGuilt after seeing the behaviour of 3-year-old Caitlin deteriorate when she devotes too much time to her iPhone. "I've become increasingly mindful that I need to not have my iPhone out when my kids are around," she said. "When my daughter wants my attention but I'm on my phone she does something which she knows is naughty and she's basically trying to get my attention. So it's at that moment when I know I need to put down my phone, put away the computer and engage with her." 

Mrs Gribble works from home and runs parenting advice website."One of the reason I work from home is so I can spend time with my kids and I want to enjoy their childhood and here I am checking my email at the park." She frequently sees parents getting distracted by their phones while pushing their children on the swings at the park. "There's lots of little fun distractions on the internet, like Facebook, and sometimes it's a heck of a lot more interesting than talking to your children, let's be honest. And it's also a lot less demanding." 

Professor Alan France, head of the Sociology department at the University of Auckland, said the positive impact of technology should be noted as well. Gadgets like PlayStation's Wii had the ability to draw families together to play games while children having increased access to mobile phones meant parents could worry less. "... mobiles have improved parents' connection to their children and I don't see that as a bad thing." Mr. Cocker suggested "technology-free weekends" to help improve family-time, or even just a technology-free day or afternoon. —Source New Zealand Herald News, 2012

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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