One of the most annoying messages that comes up on my laptop is ‘…not responding.’ It’s a complete waste of a message. If I cannot fathom out on my own that whatever website or program I am trying to use is ‘not responding’ then I should not have a computer in the first place. You can usually tell when it’s ‘not responding’ because I am swearing under my breath and wondering if throwing the laptop across the room would help.
This is one of the reasons why I do not own a tablet PC – the flat design would be quite easy to throw across the room when I’m busy having a tantrum – so I do not think it would last very long in my hands.
My smartphone is only 6 months old and so far doesn’t tell me anything is ‘not responding’….in fact it seems to work really rather well. The only disappointment is that the battery is beginning to fart and die around 9pm. But then I have been using it for texts, calls, internet browsing, music streaming, maps and social media for a lot of the day.
Tonight I watched [Lord knows why] Channel Four’s program ‘Bedtime Live’ – a show all about helping parents getting kids to bed (I don’t have kids). Before I started to watch the show I did wonder if it was really necessary to dedicate an hour of live tv to something that happens up and down the country every night – and has done for many many years. There is nothing new in kids going to bed. But having watched the show I was totally drawn in.
Whether it was the single mum, the parents of twins or the parents of the toddler who needed motion to get to sleep, I felt for them all. I just wanted to hug Zoe, the single mum, who faced the battle of bedtime on her own. But then I got a bit cross.
The show’s expert had travelled to a Merseyside school to explain the impact of lack of sleep on teenagers. The featured family had twin 14yr olds and a younger child who was (I think) around 11 or 12. It would seem that it is quite normal for many teens to be up until the wee small hours as they play on their games consoles. The parents of the featured family merrily laughed at their kids apparent addiction to gaming…well aware of the late nights their kids are having.
At this point I was shouting at the tv. ‘YOU ARE THE ADULTS – MAKE THEM STOP!!!’ could probably be heard quite clearly through the wall by my next door neighbour as I shouted pointlessly towards the corner of the room – the parents might as well have signs around their necks that said ‘not responding’ because quite frankly they were not.
One has to say the show’s producers were quite brave as they fitted night vision cameras into the twin boys bedroom to monitor their sleep pattern after using the games equipment – and then again when they had not. It struck me as quite dangerous…do we really want to watch teenage boys in the darkness of their bedroom? No thank you. Needless to say there were great improvements the next day when the kids had not been using their tech until 2 or 3am. Rocket science. Not.
But one comment from the expert reminded us of why the show was necessary ‘…I left school over 20yrs ago and mobile phones were not a problem then..’ The speed of advancement in technology and the accessibility through smart-phones is having a huge impact on the lives of not only adults – but also teens – and this is possibly having serious effects on their development. A ticking time-bomb, as the school principal commented on the show.
And this is quite a concern on so many levels. The convenience of the smart-phone is great for adults….but how suitable are they for young kids and teenagers? 24/7 access to social media, games, the internet……it’s not a good combination.
One final comment by the show’s expert was the you should refrain from using tech one hour before bedtime to help your brain adjust to sleep time. So on that basis it’s time to now stop. Before my brain is ‘not responding’……but it has all been food for thought…