APPS&VIDEOGAMES

To let or not to let your kids use devices & Apps, that is the question

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Last week I read an interesting article about don’t  letting our kids to use Apps. It was written by Mark Wilson, senior writer at Fast Company. And I liked it, it made me think.

My eldest wants to have her own mobile phone and to be in Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube, Musical.ly and another trendy social media Apps, and of course she wants to be in Whats up.

And what I think about it?

Is Social Media so bad for them? Or we just let them use it?

 

I consider that younger children are simply not ready to have social media accounts, so I always tell her that she must respect the limit age set in every App before using them. There are some downsides -and even some risks- for kids using apps like Whatsapp, Snapchat or Kik. This is the reason why most of them require their users to be at least 13 years old, while other rise the limit age to 16.

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I think it is important that children will be mature (and this not always depends on their age) to understand how to use it, know how to share in a responsible and respectful way and perceive some of the marketing techniques that try to trick us . This is why I try to teach my daughter how to use them responsibly.

We have to admit that you may not be always able to stop your kid from downloading them (or using them on their friend’s’ phones), so it’s better to discuss how to use them responsibly. I try to minimize exposure to technology and teach my kids to use all devices with moderation. And of course, I must set a good example.

Kids aren’t ready to have social media accounts, navigate the complexities of online relationships or protect their own privacy.

There are parents that let their kids use their devices but monitor their movements without their kids knowledge. And I am not sure if I support or despise that attitude. Should we explain all the dangers and consequences beforehand and then just trust them or should we control them to avoid them falling into something dangerous? I wonder if we had passed this test if our parents had spy our conversations when we were young.

I have no answer for all these questions, depending on the day I will find myself defending different positions. But I am sure that physical play and human interaction are better for brain development than digital replacements. Young kids like stories, playing with things, sing, making staff, build and be in the nature.

We can start a debate about the pros and cons of using devices, and letting kids to use Apps, specially messaging Apps. Do you want to participate? Leave your comment below.

I am reading a lot about this subject, and I have found a web that I want to recommend you: COMMON SENSE MEDIA. A non profit organization that helps families make smart media choices. They offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music.  Their Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.

When your fingers touch a screen, your privacy leaves your hands. Remember, our digital fingerprint will remain forever.

Featured image THE GUARDIAN