Shall we do an experiment? Let’s look around us, it doesn’t matter where we are. In the subway, the bus, the beach, having a coffee….
The panorama that we will probably find is many of those around us looking at the mobile screen. Moreover, it is most likely that to do this exercise we had to lift our heads from a screen.
And we live connected to the network: working, shopping, reviewing possible vacation destinations, messages, emails or checking the weather, are some of the actions we carry out daily in front of the screens.
In fact, Spaniards spend an average of 6 hours and 54 minutes a day using the Internet according to a study by Hootsuite and We Are Social. This scenario has put numerous risks on the table.
More than half of Spaniards suffer from nomophobia
Recent data from the Center for Specialized Studies in Anxiety Disorders show that almost 53% of Spaniards suffer nomophobia, acronym for the English expression “no-mobile-phone phobia”, that is, the irrational fear of staying for a period of time without a mobile phone.
This figure rises to 81% in the case of the youngest according to a study by the OnePoll company.
Given this reality, it becomes even more relevant to become aware of our behaviors, especially in front of the little ones. On numerous occasions we hear “he is just like his mother” or “he talks like his father.”
And although genetics is partly responsible for these expressions, the secret lies in the so-called mirror neurons, a concept that was born in Italy at the hands of a research group at the University of Parma in 1996 and refers to nerve cells responsible for that we imitate some behaviors that we see in other people.
The first three years of children’s lives are essential for their further development, and that includes the digital environment.
A scenario in which most families suspend, as shown by a study published in the journal Child Development on the number of times that mobile phones, computers or tablets interrupt the time they spend with their children.
170 families with at least one child with an average age of three years participated in it and 48% revealed that these devices interrupt the relationship with their children three or more times a day, compared to 11% who assured that this never happened.
How to carry out disconnection routines?
For this reason, experts from the company Qustodio, dedicated to controlling and protecting children’s use of mobile devices, have drawn up a list of recommendations for families to ensure that their children have a healthy digital routine based on their own references relatives.
That is where mirror neurons come into play and it is the way in which minors begin to understand how to interact with the environment based on what their referents do, in this case, their parents.
It is true that teleworking does not make it easy, since since a hybrid teleworking model was imposed in many companies, almost 7 out of 10 Spaniards claim to answer work calls outside working hours, according to data provided by the Infojobs platform.
Turning off our electronic devices, respecting work hours and spending more time in other outdoor activities can have a beneficial effect on our children.
The analysis of digital consumption by the minors of the platform already warned of the excessive increase in the time of use by minors that has grown by 76% in social networks, in communication applications by 49%, by 25% in platforms of online video and 23% in videogames.
And it is that, the smallest got to use digital devices until exceeding 9 hours a day, according to the La Caixa Social Observatory.
Through the use of these types of tools, it is possible to avoid discussions with children and begin to adopt digital routines that guarantee the digital well-being of the whole family and are a support and resource for parents.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.