Electronic Media Today: managing non-prep screen time

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Bethany School had the pleasure of welcoming Dr Aric Sigman on Monday 3rd December to talk to the pupils, staff and parents about managing non-prep screen time, social media, computer games and preventing screen dependency. Dr Sigman focused on the problems with spending too much time on mobile phones, watching YouTube and Netflix, texting, snapchatting and scrolling through social media such as Facebook and Instagram.

Dr Sigman, who has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Psychology, a Master of Science degree in The Neurophysiological Basis of Behaviour and a Ph.D. in the field of the role of attention in autonomic nervous system self-regulation, made each statistic relatable to the pupil by creating fictional anecdotes, providing a bit of laughter along with factual information.

He pulled quotes from published journals and the World Health Organisation explaining the negative impact that social media can have on friendships, relationships, mental health and your life once you leave school. To end the seminar, Dr Sigman told the audience what they could do to reduce their screentime such as switching off your phone at night, using an alarm clock rather than your smartphone and setting limits for yourself.

The message to take away from the seminar was this: “Don’t be a slave to these things [a mobile phone], take control and be your own boss.”