Thursday 29 February 2024

Or, You Could Actually Do Some Parenting?

Many parents of digitally obsessed teens must have wished they could bin their smartphones. As evidence mounts about the risks of social media, there is a growing public clamour to protect children better – with some now even calling for a ban.

How many of these parents demanding someone else parent their child have actually bought the things for them, and are paying the airtime?  

The debate in the UK took on a fresh resonance in recent days after Esther Ghey, the mother of the murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, added her voice to those highlighting the dangers of smartphones.
“We’d like a law introduced, so that there are mobile phones that are suitable for under-16s,” she told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg last Sunday. “So if you’re over 16, you can have an adult phone, but then under the age of 16 you can have a children’s phone, which will not have all of the social media apps that are out there now.”

You can already do that now, if you want. Don't allow them to download anything you don't approve. It's just that you have to make the effort.  

In demanding tougher curbs on big tech, she echoed other bereaved parents who believe social media played some role in the loss of their children – including Ian Russell, whose daughter Molly took her own life after viewing harmful content online.

As Longrider points out, the very people who we shouldn't be listening to on the subject. Their personal tragedy gives them no special insight. The experts don't agree with their plans, but who is listening to them? 

Despite the acknowledged dangers, few experts and campaigners the Guardian spoke to believed an outright ban on social media use by under-16s was workable, or even desirable – though all are united in believing tech firms must do more.

Why don't they demand parents do more? They are, after all, the ones with most to lose... 

Lady Beeban Kidron, who campaigns for children’s rights online, said there was understandable focus on removing harmful content from apps – but policymakers should also be focusing on their underlying design.
“What we have to concentrate on is: why are we allowing companies to give addictive products to children? There is no reason on God’s earth that they have to be designed to be addictive. That is a business choice,” she said. “You’ve basically got a faulty product here: they need to fix it.”
That would mean looking under the bonnet of popular apps and rewiring the algorithms blamed for hooking teens – and in some cases, for radicalising them.

Good grief!  


Anonymous said...

I think this solution already exists, with the old Nokia 3310s, which had phone and texting capability but no social media apps.

Mudplugger said...

Part of the reason UK politicians loved being in the EU was that it gave them someone else to blame - "Not my fault, voter, it's EU rules, nothing I can do about it".
Parents seem to expect that same sort of remote excuse too - "No, my little treasure, you can't have a smartphone because you're only 12 and it's against the rules".
It's time they all learned to do some proper management, make occasionally unpopular decisions and take responsibility.
(And ideally rather better than the post-EU politicians are proving.)

Anonymous said...

I constantly see "parents" cited, yet I wonder just how many of those are "fathers" (or even have a man anywhere near allowed to be involved).

Anecdotally/apocryphally I see many "families" locally, but the only ones that seem 'not' to have (such, or any similar/related) problems are the tiny minority that still adhere to the old-fashioned idea of what a family actually is (there's the usual leftist/feminist manipulation of the language again).

So? I suggest this is merely example #27,434,236 of women avoiding any accountability or responsibility (whilst of course demanding even more preferences, privileges and money).

[Schroedinger's women - simultaneously strong, independent, and more capable, competent and deserving than any man, 'and' weak, fragile victims ... deserving of every preference, privilege and extra support. The wave-form collapses in any situation depending on whichever direction will result in them getting the most freebies, and having the least responsibility.]

Maybe (just maybe) anywhere other than the current clown-world we live in this article would specify that rather than "parents" it's the usual narcissistic, irresponsible, parasitic "single women with benefit claim excuses ... I mean children" clamouring for more attention and freebies.

JuliaM said...

"I think this solution already exists, with the old Nokia 3310s..."

Maybe, like vinyl records, they need to become 'cool' again?

"Part of the reason UK politicians loved being in the EU was that it gave them someone else to blame..."

Yes, people don't seem to want to do the hard lifting themselves anymore, do they?

"I constantly see "parents" cited, yet I wonder just how many of those are "fathers"..."

It's not often, at least in these stories.