Teachers have been requesting parents to turn off the Wi-fi at bedtime, to prevent the children going online. This is because children stay up on their tablets, and PCs all night, and go to school sleepy, tired and unable to focus on school work.
Mark Montgomery, a technology teacher, asked the doctors to investigate the health consequences of using the internet all the time. At the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, he made a speech on how his colleagues have seen students being visibly tired and moody after having stayed up all night on websites like Facebook and Twitter.
He said, “I have three sons. When they were younger, I would go to bed and turn off the WI-fi. Parents need to do that. Turn the Wi-Fi off. There is the ability to restrict the amount of time they are online for, there are apps to download. Children get obsessed with things and find it difficult to say no. If you take a two-year-old’s teddy bear away or a teenager’s X-Box they will rant and rave. But an adult will go and do something different.”
The teachers asked medical experts to come up with fact sheets on juvenile addiction to computer tablets. This motion was to be proposed by Mr. Montgomery at the ATL conference in Manchester, on behalf of the Northern Island branch. It included the indications of computer addiction, which were a lack of control, loss of interest in other activities, deception, furtiveness and irritability.
He stated, “Children are sitting up all night on them, using games websites, Facebook and Twitter. They are coming into schools and they are not progressing because they are tired and burnt out. They are gaining weight, getting repetitive strain injury. We need to look at it and we need guidance. I am a technology teacher and I run two websites- I am not saying don’t use this stuff. But medical people need to look at it from the health point of view and how it affects your brain.”
The general secretary of the ATL, Mary Bousted has been insisting that parents need to confiscate the tablet computers at bedtime. She stated “You say, “Turn your tablet off now, go to bed” and two hours later you go up and under the duvet they are still playing the computer game”
The debate on addiction to the internet escalated when 15 year old Tallulah Wilson from West Hampstead, jumped in front of a train at the St Pancras Station in 2012. Her mother claimed she was involved in a “toxic digital world” and was suffering from depression. Tallulah posted suicidal notes on the website Tumblr and browsed through websites that have been accused of promoting suicide.