Monday, 21 May 2012

Mobile Madness?

There was a little debate on TV this morning that caught my eye before having to head out to the hospital with hubby.

Children and mobile phones - apparantly more than half of kids aged between 5 and 15 now have a mobile phone. I'm sorry aged FIVE? Who on earth do children of five years old need to text or ring about? Who do they know to text and ring? Teenagers I can of course understand as they are more independant and are going out on their own with friends more and more. I can understand that it would relieve a lot of parents fears to know their teens are out for the day with a phone full of credit should they get stuck somewhere or need to get in touch to advise they have been held up and will be later home than agreed. However, where are five year olds going without parents or family members that require them to have a mobile phone? After all, the mobile is for communication purposes despite the fact you can pretty much use them for anything else these days. Also, if the children want to play games then there are other consoles which can be purchased with no risk of them communicating people they shouldn't surely?

I haven't got children so don't know what kind of pressures are on parents these days to ensure their children have the 'latest' gadgets as well as clothes, bags, toys and whatever else they now want but surely a five year old hasn't got to the 'I want/Everyone else has got one' stage yet? Surely they are still innocent enough to not really care whether or not they have a mobile phone?

An Itouch is exactly the same as an Iphone just without the phone part (as far as I'm aware) or failing that an Ipad has all the latest apps and downloads but again without the phone part. Some people would agrue that very young children shouldn't have expensive gadgets like Ipads and Itouch's however, these are probably just the modern equivelant to us having had Game Boys and Game Gear's when we were younger. The issue with today's gadgets is the easy access to strangers that comes with having them.

We can't wrap our children in cotton wool but unfortunately we do have to be more clever and in touch with what's going on out there and what they may be looking at or who they could be talking to.

Another element to all this technology of course is the health risk. Recently my friend who is the same age as me - 27 - went to the doctors as she kept getting one eye cloud over every now and then. He checked her out and gave some advice on certain things that could be affecting it as well as eye drops etc. but did advise she lay off using her smart phone so much. He said that unfortunately our generation were 'guinea pigs' as to what the long term affects of everyday living with so much technology actually does. No one has yet lived long enough for health professionals to know. A very scary thought indeed so when you think about such young children who are still developing using smart phones, tablets, laptops, games consoles and whatever else then it does make you wonder.

As I said previously, I haven't got children and am certainly not digging at ANYBODY in what they buy their children or how they bring them up. I don't know what I will be like if I ever have them and as much as I wouldn't spoil them or want them to have everything they ask for, I at the same time would hate them to feel completely left out from their group of friends or isolated because they don't have any of the latest stuff. There is a fine line though I guess. I can remember wanting stuff other people had and never getting it because my mum couldn't afford it but at the same time I know I was very lucky in getting the things I did have.

Anyway, mobile phones. Are they owned by five year olds simply because of the games and apps you can now download to them or are they using them to contact people through text or even more scarily, through the internet? Maybe not five year olds perhaps but maybe children as young as seven or eight?


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