After touring secondary schools and surveying students ages 13-18, the founder of a British “digital detox” company said she’ll expand its services this spring to include teenagers.
Tanya Goodin of Time To Log Off found that 29% of the young people she polled said they spend more than eight hours a day online, and more than a third regularly fall asleep at night with their phone or laptop in bed with them.
In the U.S., in response to a December 2016 survey of more than 4,500 college students by NACS’ OnCampus Research, a quarter said they spend two hours every day on social media, 19% said three hours, 14% said four hours, and 9% said five hours. Three percent admitted actually devoting 10 hours every day to social media.
Unlike Internet-addiction treatment centers in China, which are run more like army boot camps, Time To Log Off’s three-day teen retreats in Britain will emphasize team-building and creative activities such as painting, cooking, and photography.
Richard Graham, a London psychiatrist, told The Guardian newspaper that schools should be looking into running their own digital-detox programs, especially close to midterm and final exams. He said what’s needed is a “systemwide approach, with clean times and clean zones where everyone switches off.”