So it's that time of year again: end of summer holidays, and beginning of blogs and TV shows about screen time restrictions. Should you wean your children off of devices gradually or let them have a last blast before the constraints of the school year kick in?
If you think about keeping your kids safe around a swimming pool we can protect them from falling in by putting up fences and setting alarms and using padlocks and banning them from going near, but the most important thing to do is TO TEACH THEM HOW TO SWIM.
Shaming is not an acceptable teaching technique. Publicly shaming your child will not encourage them to have open and honest dialogue with you. It teaches children that their parents are more interested in the performance of 'safety' than their actual safety.
So many wildlife conservation campaigns out there trying to protect the worlds beautiful creatures from death via poaching and natural habitat destruction yet as a society, many of us overlook the importance of protecting our young (the digital natives) from growing up without the truly amazing experience of a care-free childhood, one steeped in nature, adventure, curiosity and the odd bump and graze here and there.
I needed a wifi-free holiday. I was sick of feeling like an ambassador of myself! Facebook: so shallow and adolescent! Screw you, Zuckerberg! If I take a photo of this moment or a video of this concert, it means I'm not BEING HERE NOW.
Through colouring in you can focus your mind on one small task at a time, whether that is shading an area, or losing yourself in the finer details. While this is by no means a cure for stress or anxiety, it can definitely be another weapon to add to your arsenal, calming and centring your mind.
It's not that I am embarrassed of these snaps - and quite frankly I did nothing of particular interest when I was knocking around in my teens - but there's something very intimate about my early FB years. They are self portraits capturing a time that I was still trying to figure myself out.
It may be a cliche, but I believe the best things in life ARE free and are about experiences, not shoes, cars or contouring make up. In this world, unfortunately, we are rarely reminded of how much goodness there is around us just for the taking - the balance is completely skewed.
Every time we find ourselves compulsively checking the media, we are exposing ourselves to more and more information. Feeling like we 'need to know' what is going on around us can become an addiction and distract us when we feel bored, restless, or anxious.
So. You've had a baby. And it is now yours and your-multi-human-producing-vagina's god given right to social media the living shit out of your parenting journey. As smugly as possible. And here's my guide on how to do it.
Technology isn't the enemy and should be viewed as simply a tool, it has huge plus points and the key I believe, is to understand the impact it can have in the mid to long term and build a plan on how you as a parent want technology to fit in with your family values and family unit.
I feel, with increasing voracity, that I am "not allowed" to be overly excited on social media because nobody can possibly be that happy always and so what isn't she telling us? It's bumming me out.
One evening, God forbid I couldn't take my phone out and map my run. I had no data free because I'd used it all up (woe is me) and my headphones weren't working. Embarrassingly, I even considered not going out for a run because seriously does it even count if I haven't mapped it on my app?
Something had to change. So I've decided to turn off the telly during the week, just for a bit to tame the addiction. I'm not getting precious about it. If we're at someones house and it happens to be on, I won't be shielding the kids eyes or anything. And we'll still be flicking it on as a treat at weekends. But in the week we're going unplugged. Ekkkkkkkkk!
Millennials, or Generation Z (call the young folk what you will), we are always being told are the online generation. Digitally native and incredibly social, yes they are, but what aspects of their lives are actually 'offline?' Very little it would appear.
As immersive technologies evolve we have the ability to create even more compelling experiences of the world and even the universe that would never be possible for most of us to see in reality.