Parents should take their children’s phones away at night and buy them an alarm clock, expert claims
- Professor Joinson of the University of Bath set the rule for his own 17-year-old
- He says teenagers do not understand that staying up late will make them tired
- The behaviour expert says smartphones may affect intelligence in future
Parents should take their children’s smartphones away from them at night and instead buy them a cheap alarm clock, an expert has said.
Professor Adam Joinson, from the University of Bath, claimed teenagers do not understand how staying up late on their phone will make them tired the next day.
Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, the expert in cyber security and behaviour said just having a smartphone in the room is a distraction for people.
Professor Joinson added parents should take their child’s phone away and store the device downstairs.
Admitting the hardline policy had caused arguments with his own 17-year-old son, Professor Joinson claimed scientists are just beginning to understand how modern technology affects people’s brains.
Past research has claimed teenagers who spend a lot of time on their phones are less happy, and more likely to develop anxiety and depression.
Teenagers’ smartphones should be taken away at night because they won’t stop themselves from staying up late and being tired the next day, according to Professor Joinson
Smartphones should not be the last thing teenagers see at night and the first thing they see in the morning, said Professor Joinson, who has banned his own son from having his phone in his bedroom at night until he turns 18.
‘It causes endless fights but otherwise he will be on it all night,’ he told the festival.
‘Young people do not have the ability until they are in their 20s to fully understand consequences of actions now tomorrow.
The £40 smart plaster that spots sepsis SIX hours early:…
ASK THE DOCTOR: Can insomnia due to my menopause cause…
Never miss a pill again: New device clips onto your birth…
Dr MAX THE MIND DOCTOR: The best medicine of all is always…
Share this article
‘This is a basic developmental thing and cognitively they cannot do it. They won’t say “I better not stay on my phone all night otherwise I’ll be exhausted tomorrow”.
‘As parents we have a responsibility of care. Generally, I think parents are remiss if they allow their kids to keep phones in their bedrooms.
‘Store the charger downstairs and buy cheap alarm clocks.’
He warned studies suggest smartphones might affect people’s intelligence in the future.
‘The presence of this device changes the way we concentrate’
‘People who intensively use a smartphone are lower in analytic thinking and instead they have outsourced their thinking to Google or Siri or to Alexa,’ he said.
‘People are less likely to remember facts when they have got a smartphone with them.
‘People who intensively use smartphones are worse at delaying gratification and there is some evidence that it pushes people towards sensation seeking and instant gratification.
‘Some studies have shown that if you take someone’s phone from them and ping it with a notification and you measure their physiology they show ridiculous levels of stress and anxiety if you don’t allow them the phone.
GIRLS MAY SUFFER MORE FROM LACK OF SLEEP THAN BOYS
A recent study by the Université du Québec in Canada surveyed over 700 teenagers about how badly tiredness affects their lives.
Among the 13 to 17-year-olds, girls said tiredness had a bigger impact on their life in almost every category when compared to boys.
The girls said they were more likely to miss school, to feel less motivated at school, to skip social activities and to feel tired during classes throughout the day.
They were also more likely to nap at weekends, but there was no difference between the genders when they were asked about falling asleep at school or drinking coffee or energy drinks to help themselves stay up during the day.
According to the Sleep Foundation teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep a night, but many do not get it because of the distractions of modern life, and because their bedtimes get later as they get older.
Teenagers need more shut-eye than adults because they go through a growth spurt and the majority of the body’s growth hormone is released during deep sleep.
‘The mere presence of this small device changes the way we are able to focus and concentrate.’
Past research shows teens addicted phones are more unhappy
Professor Joinson’s comments come after research suggested young people who spend more time on smartphones are more likely to be unhappy.
Researchers at San Diego State University claimed in January that people aged 13 to 18 who spent more time in front of screen devices were less happy than those who spent time doing sports, reading, and meeting people in real life.
Korea University in Seoul last year found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet.
Their research showed teenagers ‘addicted’ to their phones are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety, insomnia and impulsiveness than other teenagers.
It is too soon to know how smartphones and the internet are changing our brains
Professor Joinson said in his talk it is still too early to say what damage could be potentially be caused by modern technology.
‘We are bang in the centre of something that is absolutely transforming how we engage with each other and society in general,’ he said.
‘That makes it very difficult to exactly know what the impact is and be able to step aside and look at the possible long-term impact.
‘But we can start to see some small ways of understanding the impact of technology – for examples for brains and their cognitive function.
‘Farming took 6,000 years to spread and develop, from seeds to the domestication of animals.
‘The industrial revolution took 80 to 100 years to spread.
‘We are now 29 years since the invention of the world wide web, we are 11 years since the first iPhone and it was only 14 years ago that Mark Zuckerberg was developing Facebook in his dorm at Harvard.’
Source: Read Full Article