Web, social and mobile technologies are now part of the life of all parents: they help to carry out daily tasks, from paying bills to buying a bus ticket, but also to maintaining relationships with friends and relatives. However, it is necessary not to abuse it and, above all, not to become its slaves. These are the premises of “Offline is beautiful. The Digital Detox path to improve relationships, work and well-being ”, the first book in Del Paese that analyzes the consequences of "digital addiction" and proposes a path of “digital detoxing”.
Of the relationship parents-children-technologies we spoke to Alessandro Prunesti, one of the two authors, the other is Massimo Perciavalle, who has been involved in marketing and digital communication for over ten years as a teacher in universities and higher education schools.
“Digital Detox”, using technologies well
"How many times do you have dinner with friends or children and see that instead of talking, you chat with your smartphone or check your Facebook wall? These are bad habits that then have negative repercussions in relationships, at work and obviously in the family. The spirit of the book “Offline is beautiful” is not to demonize technologies, but to make us reflect on the concept of “digital detox”, a term introduced in the Oxford Dictionary Online to indicate "a period of time in which a person refrains from using a smartphone or computer to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the real world".
Unlike other authors, who conceive of "detox" as a total detachment from technologies, we want help to understand how it is possible to use them better, without giving up completely».
1. No to tablets as a babysitter
«Tablets and smartphones have become ubiquitous tools in the management of parent-child relationships. In fact, there is no shortage of parents who, especially during dinners at a restaurant or in the company of other adults, put tablets and smartphones in their hands, even very young children, making technology perform the task of "baby-sitter 2.0". Great care must be taken in these cases and do not abuse of these behaviors because in doing so the parent-child relationship is lost. Not to mention the psychological and behavioral repercussions for children: the long-term use of technologies in fact it damages the ability to memorize and to orientate in space, instead increasing the risks of a progressive isolation from social life ".
2. Beware of the loss of dialectical confrontation
“In recent times we have witnessed a process of birth and growth of the so-called “micro community” on the Web. I think for example of parent groups of school on WhatsApp: the risk in these cases is the loss of dialectical confrontation, the inability to identify with the other that generate misunderstandings, confusion and stress.
It is obviously difficult through a chat message to correctly interpret the intentions of the other. Not to mention that social communications generally make bolder and less thoughtful people. As for the children, the risks are the same: from 10 years onwards, children use WhatsApp extensively and it becomes more difficult for parents to control what content is shared with friends. For this reason, it becomes important to find opportunities for parents to meet and train, to make them understand what are the risks of these tools and what are the solutions to manage them in the best possible way ".
Moms who write messages, the EXILARANT catchphrase on Facebookgo to the gallery
Being parents, what an effort! The network is full of groups that make fun of mothers and fathers struggling with their children (university and non-university). From chats exchanged on WhatsApp, to simple ...
3. No to the myth of multitasking
"It is important to dispel the myth of multitasking and make parents and children understand that technologies do not always help us do many things: in fact, following too many activities at the same time, you work with information and messages that come from different sources and inevitably it is more difficult. to carry them out systematically ".
4. Advice for parents
"Parents who want to start a path of"detoxication"From web, social and mobile technologies must first and foremost avoid taking off - or to take away from their children - smartphones and tablets. Instead, it is necessary:
- self-discipline and manage time slots in which messages and contents are checked;
- disable push notifications, especially during working hours or when you are in the company of friends or children: notifications distract and, what's more, anxiety and the expectation of feedback on the messages that are sent are created;
- talk to children in person: it is necessary to put aside the chats especially in the family environment and to privilege the "traditional" communication. The same argument is also valid with friends and relatives: we must "get out of the monitors", also educating the children to value "physical" life more ».
5. Advice for children
«The advice given for parents can also be valid for children. In particular, it is important:
- gain awareness their excessive use of smartphones, tablets and PCs;
- focus on your business, putting aside the mobile phone (for example at the cinema, in the gym, at school);
- don't check your cell phone obsessively at the table: better a nice chat with whoever is in front of you. In this case, for example, you could put the phone on silent so as not to be distracted;
- turn off the phone the night;
- disable push notifications emails, apps and social networks: the expectation and waiting for messages and notifications create a continuous state of anxiety, risking to lead to inattention towards what you are doing;
- plan a specific time where you can watch notifications or post content on social networks ".
- children and technology