It’s not hard to guess why kids, like adults, are in complete awe of smartphones. Who wouldn’t fall madly in love with a device that offers so much freedom, convenience, and entertainment, all in one package, and that too on the go? Naturally, it has already become deeply rooted in their lives. Unfortunately, this is far from an ideal situation. Little do parents realize that granting smartphone privileges to kids is not the smartest of decisions, especially in the absence of parental control apps. The child-smartphone mix puts far too much at stake. You need to recognize and understand the risks and then decide what must be done for the sake of your kids’ safety. Here’s a bit of information to help you become aware of the elephant in the room.
A Predator’s Dream come True
Predators are always searching for an opportunity to interact with their targets, i.e. kids, in an isolated environment. Smartphones has made it so much easier for them to get in touch, or rather stay in touch with their prey. There is hardly any parental supervision or third-party intervention to warn kids about of the ditch they’re letting themselves fall into. Unfortunately, that’s not all. The built-in camera in smartphones put kids at an even greater risk as predators excel in sweet-talking their targets into taking and sharing inappropriate pictures or risqué videos. What follows afterwards is far too grim to discuss here.
License to be Wild and Reckless
With the availability of instant messaging apps likes WhatsApp, LINE, Viber, Kik, etc., it has gotten easier than ever for kids to remain in touch with each other on the go. And the best part for them is that there’s no adult supervision of their interactions. They can say or share whatever they want without having to worry about giving an explanation to their parents afterwards. Naturally, they see little reason to refrain from abusive language or inappropriate discussions. In fact, it even becomes easier for them to make plans of attending a wild party, trying out alcohol, doing drugs, issuing each other risky challenges, etc. Smartphone gives them access to a world without adults, and they love getting drunk on the freedom.
The Ticking Time Bomb of Internet
The threats associated with unrestricted and unsupervised access to internet cannot be emphasized enough. There’s porn, sites dedicated to inciting violence, videos glorifying drugs, and so much more much that is freely floating on the web. And smartphones make it easier than ever for kids to access them from the secrecy of their rooms. No matter how much you’ve lectured your kids on the safe and responsible use of internet, it’s only a matter of time before they start ignoring your lectures and succumb to their curiosity.
The Bottom Line
Harsh as it may sound, kids just aren’t smart enough to be trusted with smartphones. Unfortunately, keeping them away from this gadget is easier said than done. If you are okay with becoming a horrible parent in their eyes, then go on and completely revoke their smartphone privileges. That would surely keep them safe from many of the risks associated with it. However, if you’re looking to keep them safe without subjecting yourself to their tantrums and probably hate, then make sure you install a parental control or monitoring software on their smartphone before handing it to them. This way, you’ll be able to keep an eye on their digital activities without depriving them of what is arguably the greatest invention of the previous decade.