Although it took many years for society to realize the impact of what began with our collective cell phone habit, quickly becoming an obsession and eventually a widespread addiction, I Our pocket companions are under intense scrutiny today.
For some people, the threat of gambling addiction can be as simple as a few taps of a finger. For others, it’s an elaborate scam or access to explicit content in an online world where anonymity is an advantage. For many of us, the negative impact of social media on democracy is acutely felt.
When cell phone use exploded 20 years ago, it was hard to argue with their benefits. The ability to stay in touch with loved ones at little or no cost was most important to them. As Irish people with relatives all over the world, we were able to share moments that would otherwise only be talked about or dramatized.
With cell phone access, we were able to watch the baby’s first steps, the sunset act, and even the dying words, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, from ringside.
But, as always, cheap access to electronic information comes with the caveat that companies want data more than money.
And that suspicion is rooted in the impact it has on people who sign up for smartphones without understanding the implications, whether they are vulnerable members of society or children, the people most in need of our protection. There is a tendency to
The Growing Up in Ireland study revealed that 54% of nine-year-olds now own a mobile phone. This is a startling statistic that will cause many to frown and shake their heads.
That’s why in 2023 we’re seeing the first signs of a grassroots backlash against agreeing to give kids phone time instead of playtime. In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Education Minister Norma Foley insisted there would be no “no phone campaign” because children need to stay in touch with their parents.
“What we’re really talking about is smartphones and … social media content that is not appropriate for young people and is available to young people,” she said.
That’s why she encourages parents not to buy mobile phones for their children and wants a “rigorous age verification” process to protect young people from harmful content when buying a phone or accessing apps. I am here.
Governments cannot and should not dictate who buys mobile phones for children. But until global digital giants start taking responsibility for the harmful content they serve on their platforms, it makes sense that education ministers will want to take action.
But the government can’t do it alone, which is why we’re seeing efforts being led in Waterford this year to dissuade primary school parents from buying smartphones for children across the county. That’s reassuring.
Every parent knows that the worst kind of pressure is peer pressure. That is why many parents do not tolerate the possibility of their children being left out and instead respond to their children’s entreaties. But there are other things to consider.
Portlaw National School headteacher Brian Barron led the Waterford charter three months ago with St Ursula Primary School headteacher Triona Daly.
In addition to cyberbullying, Baron said children are viewing violent and sexual content and accessing questionable advice online through their smartphones.
She said children in grades 5 and 6 are accessing videos and groups focused on self-harm and eating disorders, where they learn how to self-harm, how to eat less or how to deal with problems. The child is reportedly receiving advice on how to hide this from her parents.
It is heartwarming to hear that at that time, between 20% and 50% of the school’s parents signed this Charter.
Considering the difficulties faced by parents who choose to resist smartphones, this is by all accounts a successful outcome.
“They didn’t have to make any changes. We didn’t ask anyone to take their phones off their kids. We just asked anyone who hasn’t bought it yet not to buy it,” Barron said. .
Understandably, secondary schools are contacting organizers to request support for older students. Don’t be surprised if this initiative spreads and you see many positive results outside of the classroom.
We entrust the education of our children to teachers. Hear them when they say we need to be protected when it comes to smartphones.
This week, we’ve been publishing 100-year-old material from our archives from our correspondent known as Periscope.
Today’s article takes you through a time when vegetarianism was so rare that inverted commas were necessary. However, perhaps the author was ahead of his time in promoting a meat-free diet and exploring government information campaigns about healthy eating (sound familiar?).
Much can be learned from the perspective of the past.
For example, Periscope writes that “the average man doing a moderate amount of work requires about 3,000 to 3,500 calories per day,” which is far higher than today’s recommendations. , which makes me wonder what the definition of “average man” and “moderate amount” is. ‘Work’ was in 1923.
Next week we look at Ireland in 1984. This is his year in many readers’ lives, and it’s probably light years away. Apartheid, the Kerry Babies, Ann Lovett and the closing of the Ford factory in Cork.
In some cases, especially our attitudes towards women, we can, and always must, improve as a society, but they are so far removed from today’s world that they are almost a relic of antiquity. It may be thought that.
In 2063 or 2064, will we look at a situation like Gaza and say the same? Will we have come far or are we stuck in the past? only time will tell.