Messaging and kids – Why are we not talking anymore?
We all know the setting so well, everyone in the family is sitting around the living area while looking endlessly at their phones. It isn’t something many people want to admit but this is the reality of family life these days especially if your kids have tech devices and love them just like we all do. Families are changing the way they communicate, and it isn’t unheard of for family members to text each other while being in the same house at the same time! As it is easier isn’t it? All you must do is tap into your phone “Put on the heating” or “Dinner is ready” and the phone is already in your hands so why go to the added trouble of going upstairs to get the kids attention. Let us be honest, most of the kids are in their rooms with headphones on playing games or watching TV, even if you did shout up the stairs they wouldn’t hear you so why not text – it isn’t a big deal or is it?
Well, it isn’t the worst thing, but as more and more technology devices find their ways into homes around the country this inevitably leaves families more isolated in their own surroundings, alone as such. Though kids may be online chatting to friends or having fun playing games, is it good that we would all rather look into our phones or devices than talk to those around us? And I am not just talking about families as how many people have noticed young people hanging around in the sun yet not one of them are talking to one another. Have you seen family events where the youngsters aren’t running around, instead they all have their own device with headphones leaving absolutely no chance to communicate or socialise with their peers. Why is it that everyone prefers to be online than anything else?
The reality is that online activity is fun, easy and addictive. Regardless of age or gender anyone can become dependent on devices without realising it poses a problem. Sadly, many families are ignoring one another while locked into their own rooms because it is too easy to sit on a device. It is a way to withdraw from society and it can be relaxing but messaging family from room to room proves that society aren’t talking as much as we did, and this is disheartening.
While the older generations will remember how everything had to be communicated verbally we are dependent on email, texting and the numerous messaging apps that make our lives easy but introverted. Scrolling for hours without saying a word to another person is sad and it can only get worse. As parents we need to lead by example, have tech-free times, insist everyone talks to each other and not via messaging, ban phones at the dinner table and turn off the WI-FI if you must!
Let’s not forget how vital it is to be sociable and how messaging cannot allow you to gauge a person’s mood. What can you miss out on by not talking to your kids face to face? Are they sad? But you got thumbs up in a text – so they must be ok; right? Did they have a good day? – sure they ate quietly and headed off to their room, last you checked they sent a smiley face when you asked were they ok. Don’t stop talking and before you reach for the phone to message the kids, wait and go up to them. Talk to them, talk to everyone and keep those channels open. We need to do that.
Written Emma Hayes staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.