Digital Detox

Is there much point in forcing children to get on without any digital devices? ?Isn’t this just a reflection of the thinking of the parents?

A headmaster is holding a ‘digital detox’ week to try to wean children and their parents off digital devices.

Martin Stott, head of the Old Hall School in Wellington, Shropshire, believes many youngsters are growing up unable to read people’s body language or facial expressions because their eyes never leave mobile devices.

He thinks children should spend longer talking to each other, playing cards and people watching instead of being constantly absorbed by technology.

Speaking to The Times, he said: ‘When we take school trips or holidays, we don’t allow mobile phones. We’re hoping to challenge children to live without their mobile devices for a week.’

Mr Stott is not completely opposed to technology. The Old Hall School in Wellington, which has pupils aged four to 11, uses digital devices during lessons and teaches basic programming and coding.

But during the digital detox, the pupils will be encourages to spend more time talking to friends, reading books and attempting problem-solving puzzles.

There is need for an environment that doesn’t need tech. ?Take the kids to the beach to dam a stream, or into the bush to build a bivvy, and you’ll find that they won’t miss their gadgets for a second. ??

Mr Stott believes today’s generation of youngsters are missing out on key skills because of their digital addiction.

He added: ‘You often see children in restaurants with iPads to entertain them while mum and dad chat over dinner.

‘It erodes family time and they’re missing out on messages from body language and fcail expressions from those around them. People watching is a great pastime for many but I think it’s been lost to a degree.’

In the UK, a digital device detox centre to rehabilitate phone and internet addicts has sprung up in the Welsh countryside.

Aptly called ?Unplugged Weekend?, it is nestled in the heart of the Brecon Beacons and runs festival-style weekends to help phone obsessives reconnect with real life.

The camp-style set-up, which is imported from the US where it has taken off, is designed to help wean addicts off their devices and discover nature.

The fun is to use tech while you are in nature. ?A GPS is fun, as is mapping software, a field guide on trees or native grasses.

Tech should be integrated into life, not be the sole purpose of it. ?So avoiding it altogether is backwards. ?Learn to have a balanced life that includes tech.

– Mail Online