The Fine Art Of Switching Off

Technology | by | 15th Jun 2015

WORDS: Family Point Daddy

With the summer holiday season approaching, over a third of parents admit that their quality family time is likely to be invaded by work. A survey of 1,000 UK families by call answering service alldayPA reveals that 12% of working parents expect to carry out at least four hours of unpaid work, when away on holiday with their families.

32% admitted that they would take work calls while on holiday, while 36% planned to check and respond to emails. Just under a quarter, 23%, said that their children and/or partner regularly complained about them carrying out work while they are supposed to be ‘off­duty’. Smartphones are the major cause of disruption, with the vast majority (86%) of holiday working being carried out in the devices.

But it’s not just work on your device that can distract you from the real world around you. Social media is equally guilty of causing antisocial behaviour. This reminded me of a related incident a few months back, where I was blissfully unaware of my 4-­year-­old’s attempts to tell me something as we loafed about in the living room early one Saturday morning.

“Daddy… daddy… daddy… look at this… daddy… daddy… DADDY! Put your phone down…”

The last four words jolted me from staring at Instagram on my smartphone, and as a wave of guilt washed over me I put the phone well away and gave him my full attention. From that moment to this I’ve made a special effort to put the thing out of reach when with the family.

Recent research by the University of Derby found that smartphones were psychologically addictive, with the average smartphone user spending 3.6 hours per day on their device. Participants admitted the excessive use of mobile devices caused distraction from their jobs and hobbies, with 35% of those surveyed admitting to using their devices in situations where they were banned.

Smartphone addicts are actively looking at ways to reduce their ‘habit’, by spending time away from their phone or by seeking professional help from services such as Digital Detox. Loads of people are taking breaks from Facebook, but many are drawn helplessly back.

We’d be interested to hear stories about breaking bad habits when it comes to social media and checking work emails on your smartphone. Let us know over on our Facebook page (oh, the irony!).

Photo Credit: othompsonski via Compfight cc

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