John Lethlean’s story about tipping in New York (“Tipping the scales”, Oct 20-21) reminded me of a lunch my wife and I had at the Waldorf Astoria in the 1990s. The bill had a 20 per cent waiter’s tip plus a 30 per cent maitre d’s tip added. The total bill for two courses, an average bottle of wine plus tips was more than $A400 – 20-plus years ago. Arthur Orchard Lindisfarne, Tas onset “digital dementia” developing – a deterioration in cognitive abilities more commonly seen in people suffering head injury or psychiatric illness.
Richard Giles Conondale, Qld
Everything I’d read about the overuse of digital devices by children convinced me that to continue to allow our students to access their phones at school was almost negligent. The rule was that phones were not to be used in class but were allowed any other time. During breaks, students were still in friendship groups but instead of chatting and laughing they were heads down, eyes glued to their phones. Now, the rule is phones off as soon as they arrive, only to be accessed if teachers require them for learning. Lunchtimes are no longer eerily quiet and we have dramatically reduced the instances of cyber bullying. Of course our students still face all of the challenges of growing up but at least we’ve given some time when the world at large, with all its misery, is not, literally, at their fingertips. Gail Armstrong, Principal, Alexandra Hills State High School, Redlands City, Qld In the 1920s, my great grandparents supervised children’s radio use. In the 1960s, they supervised my parents’ black and white TV watching. In the 1970s, my parents supervised our family viewing of colour TV. My mother noticed she and Dad were trying to speed us to bed too early so they could watch a show; she also said that our manners and conversation had disappeared, and that one of us four kids was essentially addicted. So we all stopped watching TV on weekdays and instead watched a few shows together on the weekend. My mother saved our family home life.
Kirsty Kaye Croydon, NSW