Father, Son and the Holy mobile – Digital Wellness

By: Dr. Jawahar Surisetti

It’s not gender-specific and it could be Mother, daughter and the holy mobile either. As mobile technology takes the world by storm, the shape of family and relationships have changed. When the TV revolution started we said that the family circle has become a semi-circle. With mobiles, the family has taken to corners. Each member occupying a corner. We will need to delve deeper and understand the larger meaning of the effects of the mobile revolution.

It’s a well-known fact that teens spend a lot of time on their mobiles. But there is no point to make them the bad boys. Their parents are equally addicted. Some habits that can affect digital wellness of the teens, as well as parents, are : 29% of teens sleep with their mobile on their bed and 12% of parents to do the same. 36% of teens and 26% of parents check their mobiles at least once during the night As against 28% of teens in 2016, 39% of teens in 2019 believe that their parents spend too much time on their mobiles As against 66% of parents in 2016, 68% of parents in 2019 believe that their teen children are spending too much time in their mobiles As against 51% of parents in 2016, 69% of parents in 2019 feel at least once a day that their teen is distracted by the mobile As against 19% of teens in 2016, 49% of teens in 2019 feel at least once a day that their teen is distracted by the mobile 54% of parents and 58% of teens feel distracted by their mobile at least once in a day As against 15% of parents in 2016, 28% of parents in 2019 feel that Mobile’s have hurt their relationship with their teens So there are a lot of inferences to be drawn from these findings. The rate of addiction to mobiles is growing at a fast rate in both teens as well as parents. The nature of usage is different though but the screen time averages anything between 6 to 9 hours. The second inference is that 55% of parents and 72% of teens deny the fact that their mobile addiction is affecting their relationship with the other. That’s pure denial.

All in all, however much the denial is, there is a serious concern on the digital wellness of both teens and parents and there needs to be a comprehensive solution to this malady. I say digital wellbeing is one of the major needs of the near future to increase healthy teen growth, better relationships at home and greater corporate efficiency.