April 22, 2024

Going Mobile

Discover the impact of mobile phones on young minds in this insightful blog by Theatretrain's Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett. With 25% of 5-7-year-olds owning phones, concerns arise. Yet, Theatretrain offers an escape, fostering a focus on arts and connection, free from distractions. Join the discussion on reclaiming youth in a smartphone-dominated world.

Eventually, every parent has that moment of letting their child have a mobile phone and then they have another voice (and images) in their head. The other day I discovered that 25% of 5-7-year-olds in this country have their phone. I was surprised. I know that many of those phones may be for emergencies only but I find it worrying.

This isn’t a rant about how mobile phone usage is scrambling the brains of our young people it’s quite the reverse. At Theatretrain we don’t expect to see them. Whereas phones demand your attention for a short period before something else comes along, we look for a longer focus on a song, a dance or a drama. It happens now so it’s phones away and let’s get down to it!

In a session, it’s not so much about liking or disliking (unless it’s in a story) but it’s more about being validated inside the work. You react and work together in real time so it’s immediate. I think performing arts training and sports are important places for young people to reclaim their sense of who they are. In sports, they are in the here and now as they try to win and in the performing arts they work together to create a connection with each other and with themselves – then to make another connection with an audience.

In the UK there are 87 million active mobile phones and 98% of the adult population have one. So we all have an opinion on them and what they do to us. The dopamine hit we get every time we pick up our phone and there’s a message, photo or notification is like a mini Christmas present and as we know, it’s so addictive. It’s not my job to give advice but I’m glad we are providing a service that is free of the smartphone and gives our young people a chance to live and explore without them.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

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