To help digitally distracted parents get a better quality of life in 2014, MyFamilyClub.co.uk is launching their ‘Go Gadget free’ campaign to get mums and dads to set aside time away from their smartphone, iPad or Kindle and make special time for their kids and partner this Easter holiday.
Gemma Johnson is a mum to three young children under 7, a digital entrepreneur and CEO/Founder of MyFamilyClub, she explains: “As a parent I experience the struggle trying to juggle work and family life and the additional demands of existing in a digital world. We all lead busy lives but it is so important to lead by example with our device usage, boundaries are set by the parents first and we need to know how to spot the signs if you are heading for a digital burnout. We want to encourage the nation to put away their digital devices, unplug and pledge to spend time doing something different with their children such as going out for a bike ride, going the park, learning a new activity or taking a walk in the woods. Or, how about some good old fashioned non-digital ‘me time’ reading a book, pampering yourself or simply enjoying your surroundings and taking it slow.”
Since launch in April 2012, Johnson has grown MyFamilyClub to reach an audience of over a quarter of a million “highly-engaged” parents and the topic of social media overload, news fatigue and digital burnout are a genuine concern. Adult and children’s usage of technology is a burning topic and one that families are working hard to try and achieve the right balance.
Getting the balance right in our constantly connected digital world, is key to enjoying family life but new statistics reveal that more families than ever are finding it hard to spend quality time together due to digital overload and technology dominating family life. The new statistics reveal that 40% of families own more than 7 devices in one household alone.
The statistics also revealed that 25% of parents check their devices more than five times every hour, that’s a staggering 55 times in the course of a 12 hour period and that 27% of parents let their children use devices more than twice every day during term time whilst 42% of parents let their children go on their devices daily.
Leading Psychologist Dr Kimberley Young who runs the Internet Addiction Clinic believes parents need to be aware of the effects technology can have on children from birth. Dr Young commented:
” Children have access to the internet almost from birth now. They see their parents playing on their mobile devices and they want to play too. Sometimes I think advice on internet use should be part of antenatal classes. Dr Young added:” “Don’t leave your iPad around because if you do, and children see all the pretty colours they will want to use it too. It’s difficult, because having a device can also be very useful in terms of having a reward, having a pacifier. But if you don’t get the balance right it can be very very dangerous.”
More than half of UK mums claim they sleep with the phone in close proximity during the night and more and more stories are breaking about how damaging it is to your health to sleep with your connected device close by. A third of Mums use their phones in the bathroom and even on the loo.
The survey, undertaken by the leading website for families, MyFamilyClub.co.uk also states that nearly 20% of families regularly check the phones during meal times and allow their children to do so.
The research also revealed that some mums have discovered their children looking at inappropriate content and children as young as two have been exposed to explicit and sexual material on their devices.
Robyn Harding, MyFamilyClub member and Mother of two teenage boys from Bath commented:
“I’m so pleased to support the MyFamilyClub ‘Go Gadget free’ campaign this Easter. As a family we have 10 devices in our house and I know how addicted the kids can get which isn’t good for family life. This Easter break we are pledging to spend as much time as possible out of the house and away from our devices. I know it isn’t healthy for us all so we’re really going to pull all the stops out to step away from our digital life and experience good old fashioned family life.”
To take part in the ‘Go Gadget free’ campaign visit and make your pledge for 2014, you may be lucky enough to win a family trip to Legoland in time for the Easter weekend. There will also be a national unplugging day on May 26th where families will be urged to unplug all their devices in support of this campaign.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
CASE STUDIES ARE AVAILABLE - A dad of four kids ‘Peter from Andover’ who discovered his two year was watching sexual content online.
1750 parents via the MyFamilyClub website were surveyed during March and resulted in the statistics above.
Gemma Johnson, mum of three and CEO, MyFamilyClub, is available for interview.
www.MyFamilyClub.co.uk helps parents save money. We’re here for parents with children of all ages, from birth until the day they leave home. On the site you’ll find tips and guides on money-saving and budgeting, as well as tools to help you manage your money. MyFamilyClub also rounds up the best vouchers, offers, deals and discounts, and tells you where to find your household essentials at the best prices every week.
Gemma Johnson is a successful digital entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of MyFamilyClub.co.uk and Mother to three young children under the age of 7. Gemma is the go-to media spokesperson regarding family finance with recent media credits that include regular spots on Sky News, ITV Daybreak, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio Five Live, The Independent, The Observer, Woman’s Own and many more. Gemma has been a guest speaker at the Work and Family Show, Women Outside the Box, the first female festival of entrepreneurship and for the Government’s agency Love Food Hate Waste. Gemma’s accolades include winner of the WOW Woman in Finance 2010, and Mum Entrepreneur of the Year 2009. Gemma is also speaking at the Great British Business Show in May on “How to engage mums in the digital age”
Dr Kimberley Young is a leading Psychologist and pioneer in the study of Internet Addiction Dr Young has written five books on Internet addiction recovery and founded the first worldwide inpatient unit to treat Internet addiction problems at the Bradford Regional Medical Centre in the USA. She is a professor at St. Bonaventure University and is a frequent speaker at conferences on the impact of technology on human behaviour.
For further information:
Charlotte Vaughan – 0207 448 9724 – 07817 140174
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