Mount Keira’s Jason Bennett doesn’t take away the children’s phones when they’re naughty, but he does keep an eye on how much they use them.
Mr Bennett’s two boys, aged 4 and 11, both have a phone - their parents’ old ones. There is no SIM card inside, so they are just used for playing games rather than accessing the internet.
‘‘Sometimes we’ll crack down on them a little bit and tell them to get outside and play instead of sitting on their phones all the time playing games,’’ Mr Bennett said.
‘‘It’s not really used as punishment but we do tend to try and limit the time that they’re on it.’’
When it comes to connectivity, the Bennetts are ahead of the pack. With Wi-Fi in the house, they’ve got Telstra T-Boxes, computer, tablet, laptop and two phones all internet connected.
On top of that the computers and TV sets are also connected, so they can play the same movie or music on all screens.
With so many screens to look at, it’s not surprising the Bennetts are ‘‘multi-screeners’’, a name given to those who will use two different devices at the same time.
According to Telstra’s Connected Home Index, more than a quarter (29 per cent) of respondents in regional NSW use multiple devices every day.
‘‘We do that,’’ Mr Bennett said.
‘‘My wife will play a lot of those word games or check her Facebook. I’ll check football scores and stuff while I’m watching TV.
‘‘We do tend to multi-task I suppose. We’d check out our phones 20 times while we’re looking at a TV show.’’
But the internet connection isn’t all for fun – their older son needs it for his school work.
‘‘The 11-year-old does a lot of his homework on computers,’’ he said.
‘‘The teachers send it through the internet now. They’ve got to log into this site so he can do his homework.
‘‘I don’t know how he would do his homework if we didn’t have the internet. It’s not like the old days when the teacher just used to send the homework home.’’