Father and son looking at smartphone together at home
Father and son looking at smartphone together at home

Almost half of families are planning a ‘digital detox’ this summer, study claims

'Limiting device use and getting back to basics over the holidays gives the chance to unplug and do other activities in replacement'

Astrid Hall
Friday 08 June 2018 18:49
Comments

Almost half of families are going on a "digital detox" this summer because they are worried their children spend too much time on gadgets, a survey has found.

Although phones and tablets are a great way to keep their offspring quiet for 10 minutes, parents now believe their children get too much screen time and rarely learn anything from it.

Children are not the only ones however, with the typical household owning seven different devices on which they whittle away nine hours and 28 minutes a day on screens collectively.

Four in 10 families have looked to limit their gadget use because they feel they don’t spend enough time together, with an equal number saying the devices mean they don’t talk enough as a family. But, the study of 2,000 parents found that while two in five have previously attempted a digital detox, just half of these would describe it as a success.

“Technology has transformed family life over the years. We can stay in touch over great distances, co-ordinate our diaries, research homework, and of course, watch TV and videos when we want to," said Liam Howley, marketing director at musicMagpie, which commissioned the research. “However, our study found that many parents are worried about the amount of time their kids are spending on their devices.

"Limiting device use and getting back to basics over the holidays gives the chance to unplug and do other activities in replacement.”

Respondents said the dinner table was the most popular location for a digital detox, with 58 per cent of parents implementing a ban at mealtimes. Half confiscate tech in the home, with 46 per cent doing so during a dinner outing and one in five enforcing a ban on a day trip away from home. In total 81 per cent agreed children should be outside during the nice weather instead of indoors playing on their devices.

Social media addict tries a day without her phone

As a result of their technology ban, 45 per cent found they had talked more as a family and 35 per cent even learnt something new about their kids. Further to that, three in 10 agreed their children seemed happier thanks to the time away from their gadgets and four in 10 parents admitted they felt happier.

But, four in 10 parents found the house became too quiet following the tech ban and just under a third of families ended up feeling bored without their screen time entertainment. Almost half confessed to breaking the ban themselves, giving in to their desire to use their tech.

SWNS

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in