The best memes and Tweets from last night’s Met Gala
The best memes and Tweets from last night’s Met Gala

Lauren Heskin

‘Apparently I’m trending on Twitter for being ugly’
‘Apparently I’m trending on Twitter for being ugly’

Kate Demolder

‘He’d twist things I said to make me feel that I was in the wrong. It was pure manipulation’
‘He’d twist things I said to make me feel that I was in the wrong....

Amanda Cassidy

The Michael Schumacher documentary is your new must-see emotional watch
The Michael Schumacher documentary is your new must-see emotional watch

Jennifer McShane

The most iconic Met Gala gowns through the years
The most iconic Met Gala gowns through the years

Jennifer McShane

Can’t nod off? Eating these foods should help you get a better night’s sleep
Can’t nod off? Eating these foods should help you get a better night’s sleep

Jennifer McShane

This miracle, unisex skin product should be stocked in every couple’s bathroom
This miracle, unisex skin product should be stocked in every couple’s bathroom

Shayna Sappington

8 must-see fashion documentaries all couture-lovers will adore
8 must-see fashion documentaries all couture-lovers will adore

Jennifer McShane

How to resell your pre-loved designer handbag
How to resell your pre-loved designer handbag

IMAGE

5 marvellous must-reads to add to your reading list this September
5 marvellous must-reads to add to your reading list this September

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Reward, entertainer, pacifier: How screens became the default parenting tool


by Amanda Cassidy
31st May 2019
blank

Coleen Rooney shared this picture on her social media. The public went wild. But maybe we are just being hypocrites. Amanda Cassidy on adult screen dependency.


 

I’m not judging. I can’t judge on one photo posted by someone in the public eye. But somewhere along the way screen have evolved from a form of entertainment to a tool to be used to wield power over our children.

“Cass may not be able to walk but he has his own personalised device”.

We see children in restaurants glued to their iPads or phones, in shops, I even saw a child on his parent’s phone in the cinema playing games while the cartoon on the big screen played on. Coleen Rooney’s son, Cass may not be able to walk but he has his own personalised device.

Related: Gaming disorder: Should we be concerned about games like Fortnite?

We might not like to admit it but we are as heavily dependent on screens as our small humans. In this case, the wife of footballer, Wayne Rooney admitted that her husband was away and she had to bring all three of her sons to her eldest’s football game. To get a little peace and probably to keep them amused she set them up with their screens.

It suited her. But it suited me too when I wanted 15 minutes of quiet while doing an interview recently. It suited me to give into the pleas when it was most convenient.

This week the WHO announced that they were making ‘gaming’ a medical condition. One could argue that any addiction such as this might stem from elsewhere – if you are anxious or depressed, you are more likely to sit at home, alone, playing video games. So is it the cause or the side-effect of a different mental health problem. I really don’t want to find out.

Instant gratification

Right now, I’m using my common sense. Limits are good for children. Mine typically get screentime at the weekend (unless there is something that crops up in the meantime because…life). Screen hinder play, imagination and learning. The numbness of passive watching risks stripping our kids of some valuable lessons. There is a place for technology but it shouldn’t be mostly a babysitting tool.

We, ourselves, are no strangers to that feeling of scrolling online for too long – the brain drain, the rabbit hole that sucks time we could be doing something more fun, more productive, more physical. When is the last time we let ourselves get bored, let our minds wander somewhere? The minute we have a down moment that phone twitches in our pocket.

Addiction

Smartphone addiction is real. We’ve all know how annoying it is when someone half-hears us while ‘just finishing this text’ while we are talking to them.

Let’s keep that in mind when we are tempted to rely on screens to make parenting a little easier. No judgement here but it is a factor to bear in mind when we really take stock of how dependent we are on technology to keep our minds occupied. Let’s not rob our children of the chance to daydream.

Feature Image @Coleen Rooney Instagram

Related:

Does facial recognition technology mark the death of privacy as we know it? More

Logs and leaves – why forest schools are on the rise More

Also Read

brain
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Quite interesting’: Princess Anne comments on The Crown

We’ve all heard that the royal family don’t exactly gather round to watch The Crown, but one member has shared...

By Jennifer McShane

Nóra Quoirin
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Inquest ruling changed to open verdict in Nóra Quoirin’s death

A Malaysian judge has overturned an inquest verdict of misadventure in the death of 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin, changing it to...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
IMAGE WRITES
The sexist commentary at Wimbledon still remains a problem

Wimbledon in 2021 and once again female athletes are singled out on the playing field, a great deal of the...

By Jennifer McShane

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

alternative asthma treatments
EDITORIAL
Three alternative asthma treatments to try this hayfever season

Approximately 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hayfever, which can make summer days a nightmare. These three alternative...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane