Big Technology, Small Hands
Every party nowadays is full of good-looking food, clothes and abundant selfies. Yes adults are getting into the swing of getting spotted or taking their own for the use of Social Media including WhatsApp. No problem in all of this. Narcissism steps in and other issues pop up but for now let’s talk about how this big technology is landing in the small hands and what happens then?
According to a recent report “in the UK, the average parent with a social media account has posted 1,498 photos of their child online by their fifth birthday, according to a survey by Nominet, the domain name company” (Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37834856 )
Thus, it is only proper we start with the behavior of parents with the use of the devices and what they are doing with especially the photos taken. Taking your children’s photos or videos is perfectly fine and sharing them on the family WhatsApp group is cool too but when your child’s life is plastered all over Facebook that is not cool. Imagine if your child could talk and tell you to stop? The child has a right and you must respect their privacy till they are old enough to understand what is happening and make up their own mind. If you are fussy about being seen then why use your child to get fame? The children are already growing up in a very self-conscious world where we somehow keep reminding them that good looks, manners and clothes are giving them acceptance in society. Whatever happened to good brains, personality and kindness? Parents control yourselves and stop showing off for the sake of kitty parties.
Children should not even get to touch parents’ phones. I get so irked when parents’ sitting especially in religious settings just remove the phone and hand it over to their child as a distraction. What if the child dials a wrong number, messes up a message or some teenage children can read your personal details, then what?
Parents need to maintain their discipline and privacy with the phone. The child may be taught how to use the phone in case of an emergency, for example you are with mum and she is feeling unwell, at least you can look up Dad’s number or call for help. Giving the child the phone to play with it is ridiculous. Steve Jobs who created the iPad advised strongly against letting his children using this very device. This shocked the industry, but it should not because he knew the potential and dangers. It is no secret that your children know how to navigate your smart phone or iPads better than you. That means they can reach anywhere and do anything. Adult supervision is advised and you must put parental guidance and apps appropriate to control the content browsing.
Make them teaching devices and not gaming addictions. We grew up with books and they probably do not even touch a book and as a parent you maybe struggling with what best to give them to keep their mind occupied. While in the 80s (since I am an 80s child) we had more outdoor sports or board games, they still exist and there is no harm to include them as part of activities. These old fun things have their own meaning, then why is it a game like Scrabble still exists and is popular over 70 years now? Help the children transition into the use of this technology wisely and not for the sake of a popularity contest or to keep them distracted so you can do something. More than ever a parent needs to be involved and hey nobody is saying you do it all alone, both husband, wife and get the grandparents involved too. Let them be a part of the raising but the final word and the buck stops with the parents. They must lead the way and even if it means giving instructions to the rest then do so. Aunties and uncles, older cousins must follow suit too.