I noticed that rather than embracing the experience and sites, both young children pulled out their digital devices and proceeded to play games for the full duration of their ‘on the bus experience’. When the parents gave them the signal to disembark from this sightseeing bus, the children calmly put their devices away and hopped off the bus. The result – they had not done anything but play phone games. They had missed landmarks, they had not taken in any commentary, and the total tourist experience had likely been lost to them. They had perhaps reached the next level in their game though.
As someone who works closely with young people and understands the impact of positive mindfulness, I am aware of the impact that high levels of digital use can have on a young mind, and it’s wellbeing. I am also aware of how important family communication, interaction and engagement with each other is to these young developing people. Sadly, this opportunity to explore, engage, connect and be in the present moment was completely missed. Latest studies reveal that most of the young adult population is already available on leading social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. Around 70 percent spent time on Snapchat, while 71 percent used Instagram, and 68 percent of the young adolescents used Facebook.
As I watched and observed these young children in digital land, not taking in the beauty of the current moment, I sadly reflected upon the following facts and the current reality.