Should Children Use Smartphones?

14 years old Tanmay Bakshi is one of the youngest app developers in the world. He also runs his Youtube channel named Tanmay Teaches where he makes videos for teaching maths, science, coding, iOS, Mac OS, etc. Yuma Soerianto is also a young iOS and Android games and app developer. Both these kids and many such young children aged 7-17 have started coding after being intrigued and amazed by today’s technological advancements.

 

 

Nowadays when technology and gadgets have become an integral part of our life, such stories are becoming common. Children now are better informed about the upcoming trends in the digital arena. Smartphones have become routine. Everyone knows something about operating a smart mobile and young ones are more qualified than adults at it. Attending calls on the phone has now become a secondary function. Phones have become smart enough to replace notepads, calculators, calendars, reminders, books, cameras, music players, assistants, real social meetings and what not. Thanks to the internet and widely accessible smartphones, the world has become a big well connected urban village.

 

 

Now parents utilize smartphones to teach, entertain, sing to sleep and even feed the kid.  Phones are a great facilitator and distractor for tiny tots. A child of 5 years of age knows how to play his favorite games and watch cartoon videos on smartphones. Schools have adopted smart classrooms. Parents use apps for tracking their ward’s progress at school. Students research for their school project information on their phones.  Web browsing and managing social media accounts have also become conventional for children who have just become adolescents.  Many like Tanmay out of curiosity have taken onto creating and improving its technological functions.

 

 

Smartphones have provided the little minds varied opportunities to acquire knowledge, get entertained, learn and, explore new avenues, but not everything in the garden is rosy. Young children are susceptible to encounter the dark side of the picture. While social media brings together people from different walks of life, stories about cyberbullying and harassment are also frequent. 2/3 of teenagers have accepted facing cyberbullying or trolling at some point. Several virtual games like the Blue Whale game and Second Life promote self-harm, suicide, pedophilia, and pornography. Many adults adopt strategies to coax children into meeting them, which leads to crimes like abduction and sexual assaults. Young kids who are easy to influence become the target of radical outfits who advocate terrorism.

 

 

A smartphone can be helpful, harmful, addictive and hazardous, all at the same time depending upon the awareness of the user. So, it is the responsibility of the parents and guardians to keep in mind and keep an eye on the usage of such smart technologies by the children. While it is perfectly fine to let children use smartphones from a young age, ignorance of its possible misuse can be dangerous.  The parents should communicate with their children regularly about the negative instances they can encounter and what they should stay cautious about. Parental controls can come handy to keep a track about the safe use of smart technologies. As parents introduce their child to operate smartphones on the first go, they should also not forget to educate them about its correct use and probable dangers.

 

 

Smartphones are here to stay. Smart technologies are the present and future of the 21st century. It isn’t far when children will have to mandatorily carry smartphones and such gadgets to the school as a substitute for books and everywhere else as an identity holder. So, intelligent usage of smartphones will go hand in hand. As Tanmay creates another app for the smart-society, let your child create a new avatar for himself; just pay attention to it.

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