Friday 21 July 2017

Tech dinosaurs have no answer to pester power

If parents could do their job properly, we wouldn't need a new law banning the sale of smartphones to minors

'Parents need to have meaningful engagement with their children about smartphones and the internet: kids should understand the reasons they are not allowed unrestricted access' (stock photo)
'Parents need to have meaningful engagement with their children about smartphones and the internet: kids should understand the reasons they are not allowed unrestricted access' (stock photo)

Ciara O'Connor

There are only 10 years between me and today's 16-year-olds - but it feels more like 40. Many of them will have had a smartphone for years now; they don't remember a time before WhatsApp. Meanwhile, I didn't have a phone with internet access until I left university, and I just don't get Snapchat.

And I'm glad. Being a teenager was hard enough without selfies and Instagram and FaceTime - I don't think I would have coped well with the bombardment. While I raced home from school to the family computer in the living room for MSN when I was 13, it couldn't follow me to dinner, or wake me up at night.

So I find the idea of unfettered internet access for children a frightening one.

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