Wonderful things have come with the era of mobile technology. However, it has also come with a wave of change that sometimes, tilts to the other side. For one, even though global exposure is wonderful for business and networking, it is not so great for kids. Kids that were born before the era of technology at all, grew up playing catch and hide and seek with other friends in the garden. The ones who were born when technology had started to take ground, played with simple games that were said to develop them intellectually. A few decades later and what we have, are Pokémon go playing 6-year olds with Instagram pages that chat in their rooms when they’re grounded. Sounds to me like childhood and adulthood are slowly becoming similar.
While exposure is great, quick exposure is worse. This is why we now have 12-year olds talking like they are 21-year olds. They know so much already! Maybe more than their parents too. This is not even talking about the negative forms of exposure. Back then, we used to watch only kid movies or PG controlled movies and we had no other way of seeing otherwise. Now, a 10-year old can download full-on pornography, by just clicking “Yes, I’m an adult”. It’s appalling! They would end up learning the wrong things at the wrong times.
The first few years of a child’s life, are the development stages. He or she is learning to speak, learning about nature, finding ways to communicate with other kids their age. This phase represents their childhood and should be extremely controlled by the parents or guardians. Losing your child at this stage to the wiles of the world is dangerous. The beauty of appreciating and even understanding the world we live in, would be replaced by the perception of the world social media and the internet paints.
In all these things, it appears that new-age parents are not bothered. They’ll still hand their 5-year olds the latest iPhones because they can. It is even worse now, because kids that go to proper schools, would have seen these gadgets from their friends in school and ask for them. Parents are losing their kids way too soon and it is a real problem. The only real way to nip these problems in the bud, is to do the same thing the movie industry did. They understood that certain movies were destructive to the minds of certain age brackets, and applied control on them.
In the same realm, the use of gadgets — tabs and other forms of mobile tech, should be controlled. Even though placing age restrictions would probably not be the cup of tea for Apple and other manufacturers, parents need to do so. Have it as a rule that your child would be not handed his or her first smart phone until he or she turn 14. They might beat you up for it, but it’ll be for the best. Depending on how away from your child you get, you might need to offer him or her a small phone for easy communication and for emergency sakes. If the phone happens to be ‘smart’ in any way, apply restrictions to them. Passwords, limits, and so on. Even when you don’t mind a certain level of exposure, enforce them yourself. Let them know how social networking works, and monitor them until you feel they are matured enough to move around the internet and social media themselves (or until they revolt and demand their privacy).
Create an avenue for your child to grow in a controlled environment first, before letting them get sucked into the danger web that is the internet. It would be for their benefit, yours, and the whole of mankind.
Originally published at medium.com