September 12 - 18, 2018

PARENTS lament their teenagers’ noses constantly in their phones, but they might want to take stock of their own screen time habits.

A recent study from the Pew Research Centre found that two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their teenage children spend in front of screens, while more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time.

Meanwhile, more than half of teens said they often, or sometimes, find their parents to be distracted when they are trying to have a conversation with them.

The study calls teens’ relationship with their phones at times ‘hyper-connected’ and notes that nearly three-fourths check messages or notifications as soon as they wake up. Parents do the same, but at a lower if still substantial rate - 57 per cent.

Big tech companies face a growing backlash against the addictive nature of their gadgets and apps, the endless notifications and other features created to keep people tethered to their screens.

Experts say parents have a big role in their kids’ screen habits and setting a good example is a big part of it. “Kids don’t always do what we say but they do as we do,” said Donald Shifrin, a professor of paediatrics. “Parents are the door that kids will walk through on their way to the world.”

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