Weapons of Mass Distraction

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Like most people, my family and I cherish the holidays and use this time to get away and reconnect as a family.  Over the Easter break, we like nothing more than to go camping and see a little part of this wonderful country that we haven’t explored yet.  We use this time to get back to nature and forget about all of those daily chores that consume our days.  

As a society, we are bound by our laptops and phones. Our work, school, social lives, kids' sports, even our wellbeing, all have apps, group pages and links to keep us all connected and informed.  However, this emphasis on technology, and the need to remain connected and informed does not come at a cost.  Our WMDs, or Weapons of Mass Distraction, have infiltrated every aspect of our lives so that we cannot even eat a meal without posting a photo of it first.  

The science is very clear on the negative effects of excessive technology use and the effect our devices are having on us.  In terms of distraction, we don’t have to look further than our mobile phones.  One Harvard Business Review speaks about the effect mobile phones have on our ability to concentrate.  Just having your phone on your desk or table is enough to affect your concentration, even if it is face down with the sound off.  

So what does this mean for our children who are born into a world rich with technology at every turn?  As parents, it is our responsibility to create this balance for our children and teach them about how to use technology to enhance our lives, rather than be dictated by it.  Our youngest children need parents to help them manage this regulation.  Take the time to sit with your family and look at the time each person spends on their device.  If you are worried about internet safety or managing your children’s devices better, you might wish to visit Family Zone which allows parents to lock devices, both at home or out in the community.  Designed by Brett Lee, the ex-ASIO cyber expert, not the cricketer, it provides parents with the reassurance that their children are safe online, even when they are alone. 

Our children have the opportunities to do remarkable things in their lifetime, which will no doubt involve technology to help them get there.  Technology can improve efficiency, productivity and connect you with like minded people all around the world.  With an emphasis on education, rather than removal, our goal as parents is to provide our students with the knowledge and to teach them the skills to best manage a life rich with technology.   

Richard Smith
Assistant Principal (Head of Primary)