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Digital Wellbeing: Are Today’s Families Worried Enough About the Effect of Tech on Their Health and Happiness?

By on 03-05-2020

Today’s parents are more aware than ever of the dangers to their children’s mental and physical health; the pillars of the growing concept of digital wellbeing. Despite their growing awareness of cyberbullies, sexual predators, data thieves and addictive or harmful content, our research at Qustodio shows the effect of technology on a typical family’s digital wellbeing is still not a top concern—it’snot even in the top three.

As pioneers in digital safety and wellbeing, and makers of the leading parental control app, we wanted to shine a light on this important subject and make sure it becomes top of mind for parents. That’s why we put together a Digital Wellbeing report – our analysis and data-based look at this important topic in an attractive, interesting and practical way that we hope parents will actually read and find useful and easy to apply to their lives today. 

Inside the report you will find a quick look at the history of Digital Wellbeing, what is it and where did it come from? We’ll also take a look at current screen time recommendations from global authorities from the World Health Organization (WHO) issued new guidelines to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to our own universal guidelines. Then we’ll dive into our own study, where you can see how much time a typical family spends online and what today’s digital families are worried about. We’ll wrap things up with some really practical advice on how to help your family achieve Digital Wellbeing.

Too busy to dive into the report right now? Don’t worry! Below you have the main insights and some practical expert advice you can use right away. 

LINK TO DIGITAL WELLBEING REPORT

Here are the main insights from the Digital Wellbeing report. How does your family compare?

  • Interest in Digital Wellbeing is on the rise, but digital families still don’t see technology as a top concern - not even in the top 3.
  • Digital natives don’t see a distinction between online and offline life.
  • 1 in 3 parents consider themselves addicted to their smartphones.
  • A typical family member spends on average 3.5 hours connected to tech (screen time) per day.
  • Nearly half of parents set time limits.
  • Most families (approx. 80%) feel bad about their current relationship with technology.
  • Parents are worried their kids will miss out on the tech-free childhood they grew up with.
  • Younger parents are more likely to use parental control than older parents.

Source: Market study conducted together with Ipsos, 2019. See full report for more details.

Here is our expert advice on how to help your family achieve Digital Wellbeing:

  • Children need to be outside at least the same amount of time they spend in front of screens. Get Vitamin N for nature!
  • Turn off screens (yes, this includes TVs) 1 hour before bedtime to improve sleep quality and avoid blue light.
  • Keep mobile phones off the dinner table. Resist the temptation of the ‘digital pacifier’!
  • Remember you are a role model. Put down your phone and make eye contact with your child. Their ability to socialize may depend on it!
  • Set consistent screen time limits based on your child’s age and maturity or ‘digital resilience’.
  • Avoid screen time for children under the age of 2.
  • Take 45 minute screen time breaks to protect eye health. 
  • Write your agreements down in a family contract and sign it together. Put it on the fridge!

Source: Expert doctors, psychologists and technology and digital wellbeing experts. See full report for more details.

Go ahead and print out our handy Advice for Parents guide below to help keep Digital Wellbeing top of mind!

DOWNLOAD OUR DIGITAL WELLBEING SNAPSHOT

Qustodio’s Smart Parenting Tips newsletter is designed to help you stay informed as a parent and raise your children in the digital age with a bit more confidence. No scaremongering. Nothing trendy. Just the best advice from real experts.

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