A new study looking at the impact of mobile devices on the lives of youngsters found that 75 per cent of parents felt that they had a negative effect on children’s ability to concentrate during lessons.
That opinion was reflected by teachers, with 23 per cent saying that pupils were too tired to get the most out of lessons, much of which is being blamed on youngsters’ heavy use of mobiles and tablets.
Despite their fears over the impact of mobile devices and the fact that 75 per cent of children use them for between two and four hours a day, less than half of the 2,500 parents surveyed said they made efforts to limited their children’s use of them.
When asked if they restricted their youngsters’ time on mobiles and tablets 42 per cent of parents said yes but 50 per cent said no. The remaining eight per cent said that their children either knew the rules and didn’t have to be reminded or stopped of their own accord.
The survey showed that 41 per cent of children used tablets and phones for two to three hours a day and 34 per cent for three to four hours. A quarter said they used them for between one and two hours.
Perhaps more worryingly, more than a third (38 per cent) said they did not monitor their children’s online activities, even though half felt that social media specifically was bad for their children’s education.
The survey was commissioned by website My Voucher Codes and its managing director Chris Reilly said: “It’s interesting to see that three quarters of parents feel that mobiles, tablets and gaming devices have a negative effect on their child’s education, yet half admit that they do not restrict the time that their child spends on the internet.
“Monitoring your child’s internet and social media usage is now more important than ever. Although there is a range of benefits from spending time online, including increased communication and access to information, there is also the risk of online bullying, depression caused by online altercations and exposure to inappropriate content. Setting ground rules, checking privacy settings and monitoring what your child is sharing are good steps to take to ensure your child stays safe online.”
He added: “We find using our mobile or tablet devices can easily take over our lives and those of our children. Setting times when you children can use these devices means they are not on their phones 24/7. It will also be beneficial to their health if they are not on devices late into the night as well as improving their concentration in class.”