St Lukes Grammar School


Principal's Blog

  • Disconnect to Reconnect

    Posted On 06 July, 2018



    From the Principal, Mrs Jann Robinson


    The holidays provide a time for families to slow down and to be refreshed. I have recently received two articles via Twitter that look at the impact of smart phones. I hope that you will read the articles for yourself and reflect upon them. The first article looks at the impact of the smart phones on the well-being of teens.      



    Essentially, the article it is citing research that shows that over the five years from 2012 to 2017 there has been a significant spike in a sense of joylessness and uselessness for teens. This has been regardless of socio-economic background. This effect is exacerbated by when the time spent connected to social media is more than five hours a day. With an hour or less a day there was a decline in these feelings. Conversely, where young people interact with others, face to face, their sense of well-being increases. The deepest wellsprings of human happiness come from interacting with people face to face. It would be good to encourage the students to disconnect over the holidays, rather than to see their time online increase.


    The second article is equally challenging because it is raising the impact of adults being distracted parents.   



    The article looks at the impact of parents being present physically, but being less emotionally available, because they are being reactive to the texts and emails that come across their phones. This situation is one of continuous ‘partial attention’. The impact on toddlers is on their learning, because they can’t learn when there are breaks in the flow of conversation caused by the picking up of phones, to just check the latest update, text or email. The author argues that this parental behaviour is blocking the child’s autonomy because while ever the parent is physically present the child is under supervision. However, the lack of emotional presence means the child experiences the worst of both worlds ie neither having some autonomy or having the focused attention they need.


    If it is not too late, prior to giving your child a phone, think about the rules and boundaries you want to put around it. The ‘mom contract’ 

  might be a helpful place to start.


    All of us want the very best outcomes for the young people in our lives. We want them to live lives of meaning with purpose and hope. Within the St Luke’s Community this is founded on a belief that the God of the Universe has so created us that by seeking to know Him and to serve others our lives will be enriched. This stands in stark contrast to the world which seems to be about the immediate and to have a focus on self.