If you are a parent, you must watch this recent video with comedian Louis C.K as he explains to Conan exactly why he dislikes the modern smartphone culture and why he would never get one for his kids!
C.K. starts off by suggesting that smartphone usage is the reason kids today are meaner: I think these things are toxic, especially for kids…they don’t look at people when they talk to them and they don’t build empathy.
From there, C.K. moved on to the larger issue: The negative emotional effect that smartphones have on grown-ups. While C.K. agrees that smartphones can help create a sense of community, he believes that therein lies the problem:
You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty—forever empty.
And sometimes when things clear away, you’re not watching anything, you’re in your car, and you start going, ‘oh no, here it comes. That I’m alone.’Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it…
That’s why we text and drive. I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are texting. And they’re killing, everybody’s murdering each other with their cars. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second…
And those numbers continue to rise. But how can parents, who purchase a smartphone in case of emergency, also make sure their children are safe from cyber predators and bullies when there is no physical danger in sight?
Being a mother of 2, and with my daughter starting Kindergarten this year, it is extremely important that I am aware of what is going on when she is not with me… and that includes what she is consuming on a mobile smartphone. I am definitely guilty of using a smartphone to distract my children when I am busy. My children have what seems to be hundred of apps and they also love videos on YouTube. In a very short time both of my toddlers have become YouTube viral video specialists. From Dumb Ways to Die to Naan Cat to The Annoying Orange, they have seen it all.
My iPhone is filled with kid mobile game apps, but they are all regulated by me because they do not have a password. When they get their own phones, I also plan on not giving them their own apple id and password for 3 reasons.
1) Phones are not for entertainment/distractions, they are for safety only.
2) They can ring up the phone bill with in-app purchases and not be aware of it.
3) They are too young to need ‘apps’ because I think you should only use apps that make life ‘better’ (kids have it good enough – they just don’t know!).
One kids app however that everyone should have on their smartphone is Mobilekids app. Every parent with a smartphone should be aware of this app. Downloading apps like this are important decisions a parent must make for their children to keep them safe.
If you must give your child a smartphone, make sure you are giving them one for the reason of safety rather than a reward. Sure all their friends have one, but that doesn’t mean they need one. In the ideal world, give kids cell phones that are not entertainment devices. They do not need apps, they do not need WiFi, they do not need Facebook. Easier said than done I know… so if you must give your kid a smartphone, MobileKids app is a good place to start where safety is concerned. The MobileKids app allows you to track your child and more.
MobileKids is an app that is installed on both the parent’s and the child’s phone, alerting the adults when a new contact is made, a new app is downloaded, or even when their child is making or receiving a call at night.
Happy modern parenting!
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