A Question of Technology: To Protect the Children or to Open to Them the World of Smartphone

by schurmanheather on September 9, 2013 - 11:09pm

The discussion over the issue of technology and children’s role as an ever-growing market is the central idea of the article: Children and internet Use: Overview. This overview identifies key terms of the discussion such as “smart device”, “wireless”, and “multitask”. Such terms are now in common usage among the young generation of Canadians. Relevant historical facts are discussed chronologically beginning from the introduction of home television, then video games, internet, wireless, cell phone and Smartphone. Important to note: along with the historical progression of technology, the current state of internet use was explored with statistics such as 72.2 percent of Canadian households had high speed internet in 2012. Along with many more statistics and dates, the article expressly stresses that “children are now surrounded by this technology” (p.15).

The ethical side of the matter is discussed using studies and opinions from one side: that of parental responsibility. While this side emphasizes such values as security, collective responsibility and tradition, the countering side is to allow children opportunity to enjoy the gadgets and information that the internet offers without boundaries. The side supporting adventure, autonomy and non-interference among children is mostly argued against in this article. The concern over this issue is in the potentially harmful effects to children such as; “shorter attention span, less development of interpersonal skills, and a higher likelihood of becoming overweight from sedentary activities”(p.7). Another moral argument is that the content being viewed on the internet by children is widely considered too mature for such young ages. These concerns are ethically sound for the values of parental responsibility yet when parental responsibility (for safety and healthy development for a child) meets in conflict with the individual freedoms of the child, an ethical issue arises. Should children be allowed to view content on the internet at their own will and to their own interest, whether it be deemed too mature in content according to the parent? Conversely, should child innocence be preserved to the best of the parent's ability and judgment as they judge the media's message and the maturity of the child)? Should children of any age embrace the technology available to them such as the Smartphone? Letting them do so will promote their autonomy and responsibility without interference. The article prioritizes values in favor of parental moderation over children's internet use as it reviews psychologist's studies of brain rewiring as well as parents concerns over children’s well-being.

All things considered, I find the argument in favor for parental governance over children's internet use to be stronger because I find the importance of security in children’s lives to be great, especially concerning the media. Liberal, unsupervised exploration of the internet or unregulated amounts of time online are both elements that should be prudently monitored. Lastly, as the use of electronics is easily accessible every minute of every day, is it a parental obligation to monitor the amount of time a child spends using and in contact with electronics, namely ones with internet?

Reference:

Gilstein, Julia. Canadian Points of View: Children & Internet Use. Canadian Points of View Reference Centre. Apr 2013. Web. 9 Sept 2013.

Comments

I very like how your title is starting with the “ A Question of Technology…” it looks like the newspaper format.

I am totally agreed with your point of view, which is that the parental responsibility is playing a important role in this issue. Parents are the one who can put restrictions on their children. But nowadays, technologies are going too fast and kids are already growing with technological object. They are quickly able to understand and use it. We are in a generation where we need to grow with this advance to keep up in life. If, as a parent, we are not showing them how a gadget or an electronic object works, their friends will show them. We are now living in a materialist society, where we always need to buy the latest version of an object to be up to date and be equal to everybody; this will show to children the new way of thinking and acting. In most of the case, when we are buying a new devices and our previous one is still working we are giving it to our children or brother or sister. So that incites young teen to grow with technologies at a young age.

Does technologies is really helping our society to become better for the future?

Hello Heather,
I really liked reading you post because it is an accurate and actual subject of our society and it allows us to be aware of the pros and cons of technology in children's lives. With your title, which is good, we immediately can see both sides of the debate. Furthermore, your use of statistics to elaborate on the subject really made it relevant. In addition, I truly think that there should be a limit concerning the use of technology and especially in the case of children. I am not for or against this debate, I mainly think that parents should allow a certain amount of technology in their children's lives but also supervise their activity and time spent on a technological device. Parents should not make their children dependent of technology. That being said, I came up with this question: Are parents who don't use technology in their everyday life more apprehensive then others who use it all the time?

Elizabeth Morin