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>> I believe that a smartphone too accessible, given too early, and in the wrong hands is at best an addictive distraction and at worst a handheld siphon draining away children’s youth one beep, one swipe, one notification at a time.

I support a parent's right to choose for their kids, but this seems very naive, and not far off the "No good will come of you spending all that time on the computer, go outside and play" line my own mother used to spin, and the fears that having computers in the house would warp kids of the 80s.

In reality I had no deficit of outside time, or sports at school, she just took against tech early on. She just got a (dumb) mobile phone about two years ago and rarely uses it.

The real root of the fear here seems to be that your child might have a different upbringing to your own, one you don't understand.

I have no doubt the kids will be fine, if a little peeved at Mom for denying them common forms and channels of social interaction their peers indulge in.

As someone who grew up with a computer in the household in the 80s, I don't think the two situations are comparable. For one, a computer back then (and even today) is much less geared toward consumption (versus creation) than phones are. Second, being able to carry a phone with you and use it all day makes it a fundamentally different influence.

Not sure where you grew up, but where I grew up most kids spent at least 95% of their computer time playing games.

Yeah I played a lot of games too, but it was still a machine that was geared toward you doing work – even when playing games (besides qbasic, configuring .bat and .ini files were my first foray into hacking and programming). And reading USENET was not as addictive or as mind-dulling as infinitely scrolling on Instagram and Facebook

Same. Either gaming or on mIRC, flirting. Very few created anything or even knew more than the basics about computers.

I just rolled my eyes when I saw the title here and I rolled my eyes harder when I read what Sarah had to say. Your points are exactly what my thoughts are. I remember my grandmother use to tell my mother to tell me to stop using the computer so much and go outside and play. Like you said I had a great social life but any time I was on the computer learning to code it was apparently bad for me. My parents didn't really understand the opportunities something like a computer had in the future just like Sarah over here doesn't understand smart phones. All Sarah sees is the negatives just like my parents so the negatives of using a computer.

Yes there is a risk of having to have that unpleasant convo with your kids about whats right and wrong and being responsible with your phone..but isn't that what parents are suppose to do? Teach your kids what's right and wrong instead of just denying them of things you don't understand?


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