We live in a technological age and with that comes benefits and rightly so, we have access to the world, with so much information readily at our fingertips. Does it have a downside?
I speak to a lot of children who seem to say they don't listen to music, at home or with the peer groups and as a musician and teacher, this baffles me. The love of music is an emotional response and music psychologists state it's as natural as language. So why are more and more children not participating in this natural love of music? Could this be due to the length of time children spend on their devices?
An article published by The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee ‘Impact of social media and screen-use on young people's health' states that ‘In the context of screen-time, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health reported that there was "moderately-strong evidence for an association between screen- time and depressive symptoms". (ibid)
I have 4 children, 3 of them between the ages of 10 and 16 and just from a parents point of view, I see a lot of these "depressive" behaviours when they have been on devices for too long, however, I never see these behaviours elsewhere, other than the standard teenage behaviours expected.
If the amount of screen time is primarily social media or games, is this distracting from listening to music and if so, should we be limiting screen time down to a healthy amount and introducing more music to the household?
More research needs to be done in this field, but for the most part, guidance should be released on the healthy level of screen time allowed for children and guidance for parents and schools to follow or enforce.
I know that this will be an unpopular article, no child likes to have their device taking off them or limited and no parent likes to be told that they are spending too much time on their device, however, it is an important article non the less.
Could parents support the benefits of music by utilising technology in a more controlled way? Maybe creating an environment where technology is supported to listen to music within the household? Amazon Alexa sits in nearly every room of my house and is played continuously.
Clearly, we understand that the love of music comes, in part, from environmental factors. Does the family home have music playing? Do peer groups listen to music regularly? However, if the family home is filled with the sounds of rock, punk, funk, or classical music then, the children within that household will find it natural to listen to this music outside of the family home. If, the family home, however, is filled with silence and parents are sitting with technology in their hands, then, more than likely the children within that home will follow suit, clearly with the odd exception.
Publications.parliament.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmsctech/822/822.pdf [Accessed 28 Aug. 2019].
Rcpch.ac.uk. (2018). Impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2018-05/final_rcpch_response_to_social_media_and_screentime_consultation.pdf [Accessed 28 Aug. 2019].