Devices are the new black

 
Places don’t matter to people any more. Places aren’t the point. People are only ever half present where they are these days. They always have at least one foot in the great digital nowhere.
— Matt Haig, How to Stop Time

It doesn’t seem that long ago when my children were too young to have their own device. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago when the world was too young and devices weren’t a thing. Now they are literally everywhere and the majority of young people have become addicted.

I started this post with my teenage children in mind but, to be fair, it isn’t just young people. Most adults have their phone within reach 24x7. Is it really necessary to take your phone when you are going out for dinner, going for a run or sleeping? What has changed in the world that necessitates having a device all the time? I grant you that they are incredibly convenient but, if we’re honest, 97% of the time we don’t need to use them. You never need to play candy crush, post what you’re eating on Facebook or answer a work email at dinner.

Interestingly (at least to me) the basic sense of the word device comes from old French and means "method by which something is divided". They certainly have the ability to divide people from the “real world”.

I was intrigued when I came across picture of everyday life in North Korea. There wasn’t a single image with people staring at phones, even on the train. It isn’t that I support fascist, brutal, oppressive regimes. Quite the contrary. It was however fascinating to view a world without devices. Compare these two photos of people on trains (click to enlarge the image).

I wonder how many people have died, unnoticed in a crowd of people staring at small screens!

If I put my parent hat back on, I don’t think there is a problem with children and devices. I think the problem is with people and devices. It is hard to tell your children to spend less time on their devices when everywhere they look they see adults on devices.

My advice, first think about how you use your device(s) and then have a chat to your children.

Thanks for reading, feel free to buy me a coffee........ 😎

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