New survey reveals over half of British parents have been ‘tech-shamed’ due to kids’ screen times.
Judgement from Fellow Parents
More than 50% of parents in the UK have revealed that they have felt ‘judged’ by fellow parents if their children have been on their tablet or phone whilst out and about, a new report has revealed.
New research from charity Guide Dogs has highlighted the rise in ‘tech-shaming’ across the UK, with a further 45% of survey respondents also admitting to judging others for how much time their children spend on screens.
The revealing figures are likely born from an overall increase in screen time for children, with the survey showing that four in 10 primary school-age children are spending more time in front of screens than before the pandemic.
Tech For Good
Guide Dogs, however, is urging parents to recognise how tech can actually transform their children’s lives.
Emma Foulds, Director of Tech for All at Guide Dogs, commented: “Technology can be a great enabler for children and young people. For those with a visual impairment, tech gives them a sense of normality, confidence and independence. It enables visually impaired children to connect with their peers, learn more quickly and explore hobbies and interests they may not otherwise be able to. Instead of rushing to judge parents who allow their children screen time, we need to look at the benefits of tech when used for good and not be so quick to judge other parents.”
Indeed, nearly two thirds of parents surveyed by Guide Dogs stated that having a tablet has encouraged their child to learn – and rather than endlessly ‘scrolling’, the survey has shown that nearly half of children use their tablets for drawing; over a third for reading; and one in nine use them to access mindfulness or mental health apps.
Free Technology for Visually Impaired Children
The report comes as Guide Dogs highlights its new Tech for All scheme. This will enable thousands of children across the country with a visual impairment to have free technology to empower them in everyday life.
6 year-old Nell Sutton has no vision in her left eye and limited vision in her right eye due to hereditary glaucoma. However, this does not hold her back and receiving a Tech for All iPad has enabled Nell to develop her cooking skills – something she is extremely passionate about. Nell is able to bake cookies independently for the first time helped by her new tech device:
Combating Tech Shame
Four in 10 parents surveyed saying their child has been ‘laughed at’ by friends if they don’t have the latest tech – and a further 61% confessing the cost of tech prevents them from getting the tech they’d like to for their families.
Tech For All will provide free assistive technology to all children with a vision impairment aged between three and 18 in the UK.
The scheme has so far helped almost 3,000 children and young people in its first few months and aims to help potentially 10,000 by the end of 2022, should the pilot be successful.
Eligible applicants can apply by visiting: www.guidedogs.org.uk/techforall