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article imageWhat is technoference and how to avoid it

By Tim Sandle     Jan 5, 2019 in Technology
A new campaign seeks to reduce the amount of time we spend using technology at home and to instead promote greater social interaction within families. This overuse of technology has been dubbed 'technoference'.
The the campaign's basis is a reflection of the role that consumer technology is playing in our lives. One statistics (from CTV), for Canada, reveals that ninety-eight percent of families have at least one Internet-connected device in their homes, with people using such devices for an average 3.5 hours per day (for parents) and 2.5 hours per day (for children and adolescents). This is includes activities like the regular use of smartphones during meal times. This forms part of what has been called “technoference,” or the intrusions and interruptions of digital devices during social interactions,
The campaign, within Canada, to reduce the amount of device use time in homes has been launched by Sheri Madigan, from Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, Rachel Erlich is a research assistant, University of Calgary, and Dillon Thomas Browne, from the University of Waterloo.
According to the researchers, with the typical 2.5 hours of digital device use by children: "this falls above the Canadian Pediatric Society’s recommended guideline of no more than one hour of high-quality programming for kids aged two to five."
The researchers also stress the importance of ensuring there are regular family meals without digital distractions and with the importance of families "connecting with one another at the dinner table", which is regarded as "important for child development." With the latter point the draw on research from Barbara H. Fiese and Marlene Schwartz that shows how child health and wellbeing can be adversely affected.
To promote their digital device recommendations, the researchers have begun an educational campaign by Common Sense Media called for a #devicefreedinner, which they see as having important implications for parenting today.
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