Fast Forward to 2018
I can’t believe that thirty whole years have passed since 1988. My generation has seen so much change in such a short space of time.
Some technological developments over the past three decades have been revolutionary and beneficial to mankind. The creation of the mainstream internet in 1993, for example, opened peoples’ homes, libraries, offices and schools to a whole new era of possibilities and opportunities in learning, business, entertainment, communication, research and e-commerce.
Along with this sudden treasure trove have come some shocking and extreme societal changes which pose new challenges for all of us.
Take a report published by the Telegraph this week, for example. The headline is enough to stun any parent or teacher:
Children spend up to 10 hours a day ‘mindlessly swiping’ their mobiles, study finds
The article summarizes the findings of technological research into what young people actually do online. It’s thought to be the first time that technology has been used to analyse the mobile-device usage habits of children.
The findings are alarming:
- Behaviour is compulsive, with young people typically spending no longer than one minute looking at any particular page of content before swiping to something else
- Social media takes up hours and hours of teenagers’ free time
- Children from ‘low-income’ households seem more prone to the compulsive use of social media than others
- Many children in the study admitted to falling asleep at night whilst on their phones
- Many children admitted that they felt that their compulsions were “mindless” and “pointless”, but felt compelled to use their smartphones on a near-constant basis anyway because there’s a feeling of incompleteness or ‘losing out’ when the phone is not being checked.
- Some children in the study felt the need to check their phones whilst actually being interviewed by the research panel
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