Making screen time for youths meaningful
Did you know? The typical cellphone user touches his or her phone a whopping 2,617 times every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout. And that’s just the average user.
Prolonged Circuit Breaker = More Screen Time?
We’re sure that a concern most parents have is of their youths spending A LOT of time on their devices. Even before the Circuit Breaker, a pilot study found that 12 year-olds in Singapore spend almost 46 hours a week – over 6½ hours daily, glued to a screen.
Quoted from the Straits Times:
“What they see and play and who they meet online can influence their development greatly, even more than their parents and teachers.”
With Circuit Breaker measures in place, it is inevitable that our youths will spend even more time on their screens! But how do we ensure that that screen time is meaningful for youths?
Technology can both work for our good and against us. Hence, we decided to engage our youths online too! This allows for Lawrenz, our Youth Programme staff, to curate some of the content our youths are exposed to, while engaging them in fun and games. In fact, some of our youths even took the initiative to use these sessions to help each other with their Home-Based Learning assignments!
Mug Cake for Mother’s Day?
With Mother’s Day in May, we decided to engage our youths in a different manner than usual! Together with our volunteers from Catholic Junior College (CJC), we planned a session to teach our youths to bake a mug cake for their moms!
Through that simple 10-minute activity, we wanted to reflect on an important value in our lives – Appreciation.
Leading a team just a few years older than our youths themselves, Justin shared,
“(On the day we were to) meet the youth, the build up to the meeting was full of anxiety and excitement. Although I usually look forward to meeting new people, it definitely new to meet someone for the first time through an online call…”
When things do not go according to plan…
However… youth work being youth work, things do not always according to plan. A total of 5 youths tuned in – without any ingredients to bake!
Quick to react, our volunteers went ahead with the other interactive activities planned. We split the youths into breakout groups. In each group, we got them to share and reflect on what appreciation meant and looked like. The smaller groups gave the youths a safe space for a more in-depth sharing too.
“…When I was in the breakout rooms, I learnt to empathize with the youth and put myself in his shoes. I found that he is not on good terms with his parents and was saddened to hear of this. Thus, this helped me to gain perspective and taught me to be even more appreciative of the relationship I have with my parents”
– Justin, Team Leader (CJC)
Saying “Thank You”
Our youths took a pause on their usual online activities, to reflect on how they can appreciate their mothers. Despite having met for the first time, our youths and volunteers had meaningful conversations and got to know each other better too! Special thanks to the volunteers from CJC for helping to organize this session!
We look forward to more of such sessions that make screen time meaningful for youths!