In this day and age, “mobile etiquette” is becoming a more ubiquitous and important term for how we behave with our electronic devices and which of these behaviors (both good and bad) are being passed down to our kids. A couple months ago, I wrote about findings from an Intel study on mobile etiquette where 90 percent of respondents reported seeing a misuse of technology in some way or another, whether it was hearing someone talk too loudly on the phone in a public place or seeing someone texting while driving.
More mobile etiquette snafus have been revealed in Intel’s recent follow-up study and this time, both parents and children are guilty. Right off the bat, it is revealed that half of children 8-12 years old report owning two or more mobile devices and nearly 20 percent report having three or more, spending approximately 2-3 hours per day on them. What’s even more surprising is that one-third of these children say they’d rather go without their summer vacation than give up their mobile devices. How could anyone want to give up one of the best things about being a kid?!
While almost all parents responded that they must set a positive example to their kids for good mobile etiquette, 40 percent admit they spend too much time using devices in front of their children. And their children agree, with 42 percent saying their parents need to disconnect more at home.
Parents, remember that your kids are watching you. Don’t think that your texting-while-driving habits or other infractions are going unnoticed either: 59 percent of children have seen their parents commit technology no-no’s including using a mobile device while driving (59 percent), at dinner (46 percent) or during a movie or concert (24 percent). With these kinds of stats, who can blame the 49 percent of kids who said they don’t see anything wrong with using technology at the dinner table!
A majority of parents and kids think that mobile devices enable them to better communicate with each other, but half of parents still feel guilty when using their devices because they think they should be spending time with their children.
As part of the study, The Emily Post Institute offers the following advice to improve mobile etiquette and ease the guilt:
1. Use technology to engage with each other. Watch funny videos together on the family computer, or visit websites together to look at photos and learn about your child’s favorite television shows.
2. Determine house rules. As a family, discuss guidelines for how you’ll each use—or not use—mobile devices. Talk about places like the dinner table and homework hours, and the car, restaurants, and special events. From an online safety perspective, you might also discuss having the family computer in an open, central location so children aren’t isolated while using the technology.
3. Be a good role model. Children look to their parents as examples in all things, and how you use technology is no different. Hop off the phone when checking out at the grocery store, and don’t text while driving. You might also look at determining rules for things such as no sending of emails during your child’s soccer game, or no phone calls during family movie night.
And the simplest tip? Turn it off.
If you have a question for Screen Play or would like to submit a product for consideration, please contact LetsPlugIn@gmail.com.