Life through a Lens – impact on our children and mental health


Whilst dog walking on a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago in Dunorlan Park, we passed a dad with his two young daughters.  The girls were excitedly attempting to manoeuvre their scooters around the lake and trying to get their dad’s attention to play.  Unfortunately his nose was buried in his phone screen and his response was “hang on, wait”.  Giving him the benefit of the doubt, we continued our stroll, only to see him 20 minutes later, with the girls unenthusiastically dragging their scooters behind him whilst he was engrossed in a conversation on said mobile.

What was sadder, was that this wasn’t the only occasion in the last few weeks we’ve seen a similar scenario.  Mums on their way back from primary with excited youngsters waiting to share the news of their day (and believe me that soon wears off); sitting in a restaurants whilst couples fail to make eye contact but busily typing on their devices telling friends on social media what a great time they’re having.

We’re all guilty of it – but there seems something particularly demoralising that we are failing to give our youngsters the one precious commodity that costs nothing – our time.

There was a piece written recently by one of our Associates, Louise, how on holiday the staggering scenery and beauty of Alaska was being viewed through an ipad screen (other devices are available) by fellow travellers.

Robbie Williams sang about “Life through a Lens” – and it seems that life is now imitating art.

When there is so much discussion around mental health and well-being, and the importance of taking time to appreciate the world around us.  In particular, when the statistics on the poor mental health of our Under 25s is sky rocketing, is there a correlation between these figures and giving our time and attention to the virtual world, rather than immersing ourselves in the real one?


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