We want our children, and their generation, to see the world through their eyes and not the lens of their smart phone.
We want their self-esteem to be based on their intrinsic value and not on Facebook likes or Instagram followers.
We want them to have real relationships with real people and not the over distraction and under-fulfilment of on line connections.
“16-24 year olds are the loneliest group in society.”1
“According to the Office of National statistics 12% 0f children have a mental health problem, this more than doubles to 27% for children spending more than three hours a day on social media.” 2
We cannot deny that we live in a technological world and the huge potential opportunities this brings. However, we cannot afford to ignore the risk this poses on young, vulnerable minds.
We have a window of opportunity to do something differently for our children.
We want to empower parents and children to make informed, positive choices regarding the use of technology. The number one reason we hear for parents giving young adolescents unrestricted access to smart phones and social media is that they don't want them to be left out socially.
However, we aim through PAPAYA to help bring groups of parents and children together to make positive, proactive choices regarding unrestricted smart phone use and social media.
We invite you to re-evaluate your view on technology in childhood and consider starting this important conversation as a family and as a community.
The idea is simple; that as parents within a school community we stand together and come up with solutions to help reduce phone addiction in our children.
Join PAPAYA today and enable our children to thrive in a digital age.
We are three parents who care deeply about the impact the use of technology is having on the mental health and wellbeing of children today
Dr Susanna Davies is a GP with a special interest in mental health in young adults. She is married to Hugh and they have three primary school aged children. She is the founder of PAPAYA and is passionate about turning the tide of mental health outcomes for adolescents today.
“I decided to set up PAPAYA as I have seen a dramatic increase in the mental health problems in young adults over the past 5 years. It doesn’t feel like a coincidence that these are the first generation of young people to grow up with smart phones and social media. I can’t help but project on ten years to when my children are in their early twenties and wonder if their generation are likely to have the same complexity of mental health problems unless something significant changes.”
Victoria Bowen has been a Primary School
Teacher for more than 20 years and School Leader since 2005. She has see a dramatic increase in the number of issues of bullying and self esteem issues in Primary aged children caused by children’s use of smart technology and especially social media.
As a mother of two girls she is concerned about the impact that social media will have on them as they grow up. “I do not want my children to grow up glued to their smart phone. I want them to enjoy the world around them and not live their life through the screen of their phones.”
Nikki Kooner is a Technologist who has been introducing technology solutions as an enabler for organisational improvements for nearly 30 years. While she can see that digital technology can bring huge benefits to young adolescents, she is concerned about their addictive nature and their impact on mental health.
Now a mother, she has experienced the challenges of smart devices and social media with her own child. She was delighted to meet Susanna and Victoria and discover a shared passion to pursue what could be done about this if we work together as parents. Nikki believes in the importance of finding balance when it comes to using digital technology in everyday life.
(1)All in mind, BBC radio 4 loneliness survey, Oct 2018
(2)The Office of National Statistics, Measuring National Wellbeing, 2015