Tech control - Goya!

Teen stars in national campaign to combat digital addiction

“I’ve changed my use of digital technology as a result of my role in film”, says 17-year-old Goya Verity, “and adults must too.”

Goya plays a leading role in a groundbreaking national campaign to combat digital addiction among young people.

The Year 12 student stars in a video which forms part of new classroom resources to help students to use digital devices responsibly. The resources underpinning the campaign, by HMC, and Digital Awareness, will be shared with every secondary school in the country.

Seventeen-year-old Goya Verity who plays the film’s lead character said: “Being a part of the campaign has been really eye opening and made me realise that I, along with my generation, are victims of this addiction in some way or another.”

Goya said she was now changing her own digital habits for the better: “This film’s message reached out to me and I hope it reaches out to others worldwide.”

“People just need to be willing to change, to just take a step back and see the negative effects of technology addiction on all aspects of life, be it at home or at work.” 
Goya also said that adults too often set a bad example: “Speaking from my own experience, I feel that adults are not setting good enough role models for their children to follow when it comes to using technology intelligently, so I hope that this film will reach out to adults as well as teens.”

Goya attends Reigate Grammar School and its Head, Shaun Fenton said:

“Digital addiction is a really vital issue. We know that excessive use of digital technology can disturb sleep, affect concentration and disrupt school work. We will be using the momentum created by the film to work with our students to ensure they use digital devices appropriately and are able to switch off.”


A survey by HMC and Digital Awareness UK of over 5,000 students and parents on the impact on families of the use of digital devices found that:

  • Children’s biggest worry about being online is lack of sleep.
  • Parents’ biggest concern about their children being online is the impact on their social skills
  • 36% of children have asked their parents to stop checking their mobile devices
  • 22% of students felt that the use of mobile devices stopped their families from enjoying each other’s company and 82% of children say meal times should be device-free
  • 95% of parents reported that they do not use mobile devices at meal-times (but 14% of children said their parents were on-line at meal-times and 42.44% of them felt ignored or annoyed by it)
  • 43% of parents thought they spent too much of their own time online. 21% of parents report being online for 6-10 hours during an average working day and 37% say they are online between 3 and 5 hours a day at weekends. 5% are online between ten and 15 hours at weekends
  • 72% of students said they spent 3-10 hours on-line on an average day during weekends and holidays. 11% are online between 10 and 15 hours a day and 3% say they are online 16-20 hours a day during those periods.



Technology, HealthWeb editor