WATERCOOLER: Technology obsession taking over family time?

A STORY about a child health education specialist saying kids pick up an obsession with technology from their parents caught my eye as I thought it would ring true for many families.

It said while youngsters could learn good habits from their parents, such as table manners and saying please and thank you, offspring were also likely to copy iPhone-obsessed behaviour.

Seeing mum and dad constantly checking messages, email, Facebook, Instagram and so on is apparently teaching children this is the norm - leading to family dinners where iPads are on the table alongside the food.

This is not surprising considering some people are so attached to their phone they become anxious if they are separated from it for a few minutes.

A reliance on technology seems to be everywhere you look.

At the shops recently I noticed a young family in the food court, where the children were engrossed in playing games on an iPad while their parents were intently studying their phones.

Nobody was talking to anyone but they all seemed perfectly content looking at the screens instead of each other.

Experts have suggested families break this technology fixation and spend more time talking to each other by making their meals 'screen-free'.

It might be a way to get the conversation flowing again.

What do you think about this? What is the rule on screens in your family? Do you have screen-free dinners?

Join our daily watercooler by leaving a comment below.

What you're saying on Facebook:

Ange Gillham: "We have set times that the ipad can be used. It is switched off outside of these times and put away. No technology whatsoever at the dinner table and the tv is off. I find it really, really rude people sitting on their phones and tablets constantly. I have seen the same thing as the writer and just sat there thinking wow. I've nothing against technology but there is a thing called manners."

Thea Sorrell: "Theres a time and place to put aside the electrical devices. Especially at dinner time..meal times. .. in my family, the electrical devices are put away so my children and i can talk at the table about our day and eat and appreciate the food cooked in front of us."

Lesly Williams: "No we all scatter. I don't mind at all."

Tamara Gaslevich: "Jo "no devices at the table" ;)"

Garry Paterson: "No technology is allowed at our dinner table. Call me old fashioned but it's a place for the family to talk, reconnect after a day living their own lives. If we all don't put down our phones, tablets etc, in a short period of time the art of communication will be lost."

Michael Brown: "World been brainwashed by technology."
Trisha Ann: "No technology at my dinner table."

Donna Mortimer: "Anyone who visits us knows that phones either get turned down or left outside. One warning and then it gets thrown in the pool (yes I have done it), might seem drastic but mobiles etc are a major invasion of privacy and it's just bad manners to answer or look at a phone when you're conversing with others."

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