The Independent London Newspaper
24th May 2017

Teenager's 'agony' of a week spent without her phone

    Abrisham Skye Ahmadzadeh

    Abrisham Skye Ahmadzadeh tries to live without her phone for a whole week 

    Published: 26 February, 2016
    By TOM FOOT

     

    THE diary of a teenage girl who gave up her smartphone for one week has revealed the agony and ecstasy of life without social media.

     

    Abrisham Skye Ahmadzadeh, a sixth- former at Camden School for Girls, took the psychological test for the Reconnect Project which aims to get people thinking about how their phones are affecting them and to help parents and children maintain a bond of communication in the digital era.

     

    The project’s findings were debated last night (Thursday) by parents, teenagers and experts with a panel that includes the Young Bond author Charlie Higson, in the Star Pub, Dartmouth Park.

     

    Eighteen-year-old Abi’s diary entries reveal how on day two of the trial “boredom has set in” and that it was hard to

    “wake up”, because without “apps” there was nothing “to focus on”.

     

    She immediately became frustrated by not being able to play music on the train, tell the time, or predict the weather on an app. She wanted to “sit in silence and be anti-social”, but found she could not without her phone.

     

    According to her diary, after just a few days Abi found that she became very busy and even did some “arts and crafts”, and there was a “sense of achievement” when she realised there was “no clue where her phone is”, let alone whether it was running out of battery.

     

    But her final day’s entry said: “I find it weird that I’m excited to get back on the apps that I’ve spent the whole week writing against... makes me feel like I’vebeen slightly self- righteous. It makes me quite hesitant to get back, but it makes me feel that if I did get them back I’d be simply less reliant on it [my phone].”

     

    The Reconnect Project is the brainchild of Erin Cotter, who lives in Lady Somerset Road, Kentish Town. She said the six- week programme, which is being piloted in three secondary schools, was not about being “anti- technology” and more than simply about the issue of “teens and screens”.

     

    Ms Cotter said: “Young people are cleverer than we give them credit for and I think they have it built into them to do things that serve them well.”

     

    She said many of the young people had become “amazed to find how much time they had for other things in their life” and “that one of the most surprising issues that arose from the switch-off was the example set by adults”.

     

    Three-quarters of pupils believe their parents were on screens more than them, according to the project.

    “The teens felt their parents were distracted and unable to give them the attention they craved,” said Ms Cotter. “So much of the focus has been e-safety, and in some ways I think this has overshadowed the debate. The main point is getting young people to think about it.”

     

    Ms Cotter said she did not want to get too scientific about the issue, but said there were reams of interesting research about the “profile-esque development” of young people.

     

    Comments

    How is this news

    What a pointless article. Who cares if she is not able to survive without a phone, how sad is she.

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