Tech obsessed Doncaster families spend just 36 minutes of quality time together each day

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Tech gadget obsessed Doncaster familes spend just 36 minutes of quality time together each day, a new study has found.

And while the figure is above the national average, it means that out of a typical year, families in the town spend just three weeks socialising together.

Almost nine in ten parents say gadgets get in the way of their time together as a family, with 86 per cent saying there are times when everyone is at home, but separately watching TV or playing on their phone or computers.

Seven in ten parents even said there have been occasions where they could have been playing or spending time with their children, but were busy on their phone or tablet instead.

More than half also struggle to keep the dinner table a tech-free zone, often having meals where at least one member of the family is on their phone.

The study, commissioned by Discover Ferries, the body representing ferry operators, also found the average family spends just three weeks of real quality time together each year, and just 36 minutes on the average week day.

In comparison, adults spend almost four times as long - one hour and 55 minutes per day – watching TV or playing on their gadgets. Children are also staring at a screen of some kind for around two hours and 22 minutes a day.

As a result, two thirds of parents say holidays and trips away from home are the only real time they get together.

Bill Gibbons, director of Discover Ferries, the industry body for ferry operators, which commissioned the research, said: “Families who are already struggling to get time together now face extra competition from modern technology and social media.

"Most households will have an array of TVs, computers, smart phones and tablets and it’s all too easy to spend our spare time on these. But holidays are a great opportunity for real quality time together as a family, and for some, is the only time they can really sit back and enjoy each other’s company without distractions they would usually have at home.

Top 10 reasons for a lack of quality time:

1. Household chores

2. Children’s homework

3. Long working hours

4. School timetables

5. Family members being more interested in their phone/tablets

6. Children’s extra-curricular activities

7. Children would rather spend their time playing computer games

8. My children would rather watch TV

9. I have to work from home during the evenings and weekends

10. Anti-social working hours