Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Real life is too much effort

From we find that many children seem to prefer an online world to real life.

Children online find real-life interaction ‘too much effort’ – report

Children find it “too much effort” to interact in real-life and prefer to watch YouTube, an Ofcom report has found.

The media watchdog’s report has revealed young people are gravitating not only away from TV toward online video, but also away from seeing friends toward solitary screen-time.

Ofcom researchers found that children between four and 16 were rarely interesting in reading, drawing, playing an instrument or other hobbies.

One child surveyed spoke for the trend, saying said she preferred to “lounge around” watching Netflix and YouTube.

The 2018 research found that young viewers are watching less TV.

When they do, it is considered “family time”, and often revolves around programmes such as I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Of Here and Strictly Come Dancing.

Children were found to spurn real-life social interaction and activities in favour of consuming media alone in their bedrooms.

Real life has to intrude to be noticed and for the modern over-protected child it cannot be surprising that it doesn't, not to the extent that it did a few decades ago. 

Another factor is that real life is not as 'real' as it was. For example Brexit suggests that many MPs find real life is far too much effort. 


Sam Vega said...

My guess is that the key factor here is design. Social media and other on-line scenarios are designed with the intention of keeping you there; a trail of little rewards that keep you clicking and pressing. The real world, however, is much more random. There's no God who set it all up, so sometimes the rewards come thick and fast; sometimes, for some poor individuals, there are no rewards whatever they do. Being on line is the safe bet.

For the time being, that is. It's probable that there is a ratchet effect, and the more time children spend on line, the less chance they have to build the skills required to help oneself in the real world. Like so many things, I think this one might come down to immediate versus deferred gratification.

Demetrius said...

Who said "Hell is other people"?

James Higham said...

Good point - real life is not as real as it was.

A K Haart said...

Sam - yet random rewards are supposed to be more addictive. Maybe online rewards are more random than we might imagine and also more frequent. I wouldn't be surprised if a certain level of randomness is designed into computer games for example.

Demetrius - I did, but I pinched it from someone else.

James - and doesn't need to be - yet.