Time to ring in the changes?
MP questions use of mobile phones
Often when we see footage from the House of Commons, politicians in the background can be seen on their phone.
Hamilton West MP Gerard Killen stood up in Westminster and drew attention to it – and is now questioning the effects that the technology is having on young people.
And while he wasn’t too hard on his colleagues in Parliament for having their heads down, he did ask them last week if they could discuss what it means for others.
Mr Killen said: “I note how many Members across the House are currently face down with their smartphone or tablet.
“I realise that they are all working very hard and multi-tasking, but there is now growing evidence about the link between overuse of technology such as smartphones and poor mental health, particularly among young people.
“Can we have a debate in Government time about what more can be done to get the big tech companies to take this issue seriously?
The Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, was in agreement with the Labour MP.
She said: “I certainly agree with the honourable Gentleman that we all spend far too much time on technology, and that is particularly true of young people.
“It is interesting that a number of schools are now saying to their students that they cannot have their devices during the course of the day. That is a contentious subject, but I certainly support such a move. He is right that it is a really key issue. In a sense, we are undertaking a massive experiment, because there is no regulation around this matter. I encourage him to seek a backbench business debate so that all honourable Members can share their views and perhaps we can then debate them with Ministers.”
A report from the The Royal Society for Public Health last year said: “The platforms that are supposed to help young people connect with each other may actually be fuelling a mental health crisis.”