“Less time with my smartphone” was one of the top resolutions for the new year among young people – at least in Germany.
According to a Forsa Institute survey (commissioned by Germany’s big health insurance company, DAK-Gesundheit,) about one in two 14- to 29-year-olds said they want to spend less time with their smartphones, computers and the Internet.
The warning calls from addiction specialists and digital critics seem to be finally heard. Just last year, two prominent Apple shareholders wrote to the company expressing their concern that too much screen time is having negative consequences for children. Apple responded with the release of a number of features that help customers better understand and control their smartphone habits.
Compared to other screens, smartphones are particularly detrimental since there are no natural breaks in the way we use them. They go with us everywhere – to school, friends and even the bedroom, where they literally rob children and teenagers of their sleep. On average, adult users check their phones every 18 minutes! (If they’re not sleeping.)
Smartphones make us nervous and cause us to live in constant fear of missing out or not being popular enough. They affect our attention, empathy, self-confidence and communication with other people – all social skills that are important to a successful and happy life.
The good news is there are ways to help kids develop (and adults to maintain) these skills.
The best way is to provide opportunities for practice. Through experience with personal feedback, group interactions, decision-making and working together towards common goals – everybody can learn to improve their soft skills.
At Modern Music School we’ve created a group lesson program to provide these opportunities.
Group lessons increase student’s interaction with each other. Students can learn to communicate effectively, to collaborate and to make meaningful connections. They learn to work together as a team and build valuable relationships. Here they can develop empathy, motivation and self-confidence and even have fun with it.
Since new resolutions are best tackled with a specific plan, I suggest that you – or your child – sign up for group lessons at Modern Music School.
Studies show that 8-12-year-olds spend six hours a day with their phones and 13-18 up to nine hours. Some of this time might be better spent with a new hobby – like guitar, drums, bass, piano or vocals!