We have discovered that many of the difficulties parents face when developing their child’s character stem from modern problems. These modern problems can be solved by ancient solutions from the dojo that martial arts provides.
To first understand how powerful these ancient solutions are, we must first dive into the modern problems that make an impact on young people’s lives.
Let’s jump straight in with the SMARTPHONE
The Smartphone is a powerful tool that unlocks a huge amount of information, access to instant communication and countless tools and apps to serve us as users.
Previously if we needed to research, read or discover new information we would visit a library, pull out an interesting book and get reading, trying to find the relevant information to answer our questions. With the birth of the internet and subsequently; search engines we could log in to our computers, go online and get our answers within minutes and now, with smartphones that stay in our pockets and much faster internet speeds; within 20 seconds we have our answer from google.
It’s clear that the Smartphone has revolutionised the way we learn, communicate and go about our day and the positive effects are very visible. Due to faster communication and transferring information so quickly the learning curve has dramatically accelerated, brilliant!
Unfortunately, we are all human and we don’t all use this powerful technology to benefit mankind and solve world problems. Instead, social media apps are so well designed to provide a dopamine hit through notifications that people tend to be stuck for hours on tasks of relatively low importance with no other benefit than to provide some mild entertainment, like watching videos of cats on Facebook.
Have you ever been stuck on your Facebook news feed for 30 mins and realised you were lost?
You’re not alone.
As humans we’re distracted so easily and now the Smartphone superpower which can be an incredible force for good is also a distraction monster, feeding off your time and concentration and emotional energy.
Many children struggle to develop high levels of focus, so If adults find it hard to concentrate with a Smartphone, how do children cope?
Young people are now brought up with Smart Phone in hand. Data in the UK currently shows that nearly 70 percent of 11 to 12-year-olds use a smartphone and this is set to increase to 90% by age 14.
“Researchers at the London School of Economics gathered test scores from thousands of 16-year-olds between 2000 to 2012, studying the effects of cell phone bans on schools. The found that the bans boosted test scores by six percent. If a child was previously academically underperforming, their scores improved up to 14 percent. Dr Richard Murphy, assistant professor of Economics at the University of Texas and co-author of the study, told Yahoo Parenting, “Our conclusion is that unstructured use of phones in schools has a negative impact, mainly for kids at the bottom half of the class. Schools should consider having a policy restricting phone use.”
Cell phone bans are at the extreme end of trying to solve a problem. We know the Smartphone can be used for good, it can be an excellent learning tool and accelerate education and we must embrace technology as an integral part of students development. That’s great if students use their Smartphone for their education and are not distracted by social media, games or massaging their friends under their desk.
“The Attentional Cost of Receiving a Cell Phone Notification,” co-authored by Cary Stothart, Ainsley Mitchum, and Courtney Yehnert, states that “cellular phone notifications alone significantly disrupted performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task.”
There are countless studies available that show the effect of Smartphones on concentration and focus (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/magazine/meet-the-life-hackers.html?_r=0).
A recent study on the science of distraction found that each time an office worker was distracted by their smartphone it took an average of 25 minutes to refocus on their original task. This has a profound effect on students concentration levels for things like homework. Most people find it incredibly difficult to multitask and in truth, the recent notification from your smartphone will have occupied a large part of your cognitive space.
To summarise, the smartphone provides limitless opportunity and we should embrace this, however, the modern problem the smartphone presents is a huge impact on the concentration levels of young people.
Now more than ever we need to work on improving students concentration levels and self-discipline in being selective with their attention and time. These 2 aspects are fundamental in the Warrior Method detailed in this book.
Next up in our Modern Problems series… “Socialising online”
Don’t worry, we will be providing solutions so don’t let this get you down! We must first identify the problems before we can provide the solution…. Check out our next blog!