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Oftentimes children are blamed for using their mobile phones on the dinner table or during family time but what if the parent is the one doing so? In the time of everything tech, are parents ghosting their children? Readers discuss

Got it from youngsters

The older generations are hooked on using phones

People from the younger generations, like me, were the ones spending lots of time on devices, and we grew up with it so, as it went from a world of possibilities to being a part of our lives to the emptiness that comes from it.

Many of us are aware of the data privacy issues that come along with it, as well as the mental health issues, so we just dubbed it as a ‘phase’ and moved on.

Now the older generations like our parents have gotten onto it. I think it was a coping mechanism for our parents to be able to socialise and feel connected, which was a very core part of the generation. I think we left them out and they followed us into it, now they are stuck. I go to family gatherings now and see everyone’s focused on their cell phones whenever it’s not a topic of interest. I try to delete my social apps during weekdays but still have a large dependency on it, so I can’t blame them. Overall, I hope to have less distracted people in my life and have come to value them and truly human experiences more.

From Mr Mohammad Yaseen

Digital transformation consultant based in Dubai

Equally bad

Phones in the way of meaningful interactions

With technological advancements, there’s definitely a drastic change in social interactions and engagements these days. I personally have seen tables filled with people glued to their smart phones, instead of having meaningful and engaging conversations with their friends and families. This had led to people avoiding such social gatherings due to the fear of others being caught up in their phones. In fact, according to a recent research, using smart phones on a dinner table leads to a noticeable drop in the diner’s experience and enjoyment.

In my opinion, both, the children and parents are equally responsible for spending lesser time with each other. These days, people from all age groups are either active or registered on social media platforms, and it’s sometimes impossible for them to not check their phones every now and then. According to me, there’s definitely a need for one’s own self to monitor their use of smart phones around people and during social gatherings – making the others around them feel less awkward and the experience, more enjoyable.

From Mr Joudat Waleed

Communications executive based in Sharjah

Set an example

Parents need to be mindful of their behaviour

Parenting is about teaching and guiding children to differentiate between the right and the wrong, and supporting their emotional, social and intellectual development in order to make them capable to live a successful life. For this we as a parents need to dedicate enough time with our children, which to be honest, sometimes we are not able to do so. Reason for this could vary with every parent but major reason could be spending more time on their mobile phone.

Though after working hours we are at home, we are still busy as we have made ourselves more dependent on mobile phones. Right from checking emails or checking social media or ordering food, we are using mobile phones and spending most of our time even at work on mobile phones rather than with our children.

Parents cannot blame children for spending more time to play on mobile phones or tablets because more or less parents are the one who have influenced their children to use mobile phones or tablets at some or the other stage.

We as parents must try to spend more and more time with children to pave the way for a healthy and happy family life.

From Mr Maqsoodul Haq

Banker based in Dubai

Poll results

Are parents spending lesser time with their children because of mobile phones?

Yes: 90%

No: 10%

Have your say

How can parents limit time spent on phones?