Parents and Phones

As young adults in the 21st century, I think that we can all relate to just how distracting cell phones are. I know that I find my cell phone to be most distracting in class. It is easy to become bored and checking my phone seems to satisfy that need to be entertained. Just as I, and many other students find cell phones to be a major distraction, a new study reports that parents are becoming distracted by their devices from parenting.

Dr. Jenny Radesky, a professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics, conducted interviews of 35 families and learned that the use of cellphones at home had begun to negatively impact family life. Therefore, Radesky and her colleagues decided to perform a study. The participants of the study included: 22 mothers, nine fathers, and four grandmothers. Radesky had all of the participants watch over kids of varied ages from toddlers to young children. After watching the children, the participants had stated that they enjoyed the use of cell phones while watching thecellphones children as they felt as if it alleviated the boredom associated with watching children. For these participants, the cell phones acted as a source of entertainment. While the phones acted as a distraction, participants found that they paid less attention to the children. Furthermore, they found that the cell phones impacted their mood. Hence, if a participant had seen bad news on their phone, they would not be in a good mood around the children thus creating a negative environment.

The null hypothesis of this study is that the use of cell phones would have no impact in how the participants interacted with the children. On the contrary, the alternative hypothesis is that the use of cell phones would have an impact on how the participants interacted with the children. The alternative hypothesis proved to be correct in this observational study as the participants found that they paid less attention to the children who they were supposed to be watching and the use of cell phones impacted their mood.

All in all, just how cell phones pose as a distraction for students in classrooms (like me), they are also a distraction to parents too. To avoid this, one must show self-control and not allow technology to get in the way of relationships. It is important to live in the moment, and not through a screen.

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1 thought on “Parents and Phones

  1. Beom Joon Lee

    Cellphones can definitely be a great source of distraction in times when you are very bored. I agree with the the fact that cellphones can be very distracting during classes due to how accessible it is. An interesting study I read speaks about how students get distracted in class rooms by the use of their laptops. The link to this study is http://www.ugr.es/~victorhs/gbd/docs/10.1.1.9.9018.pdf . After reading this study, I realized how humans are not great multi taskers at all. Like you said, any form of distraction can be detrimental to your focus.

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