The UK culture secretary, Matt Hancock, has called for parents to set boundaries around their children’s use of the internet and electronic devices. He said that while the technology may be new, the principle of setting boundaries for children as parents have not changed. In fact, he warned that unlimited and unsupervised access to electronic devices and the internet can be a portal to some very serious risks.
Parents, he urged, need to help their children navigate the online world or better still, not have access to social media at all. He elaborated that ultimately, social media is not designed for under-13s and it is often against the terms and conditions for children to be using these platforms.
The culture secretary also quoted a study in the Journal of the Association for the Consumer Research which showed that mobile phones could have an impact on working memory and measured intelligence, even id the phone was on a table or in a bag. Definitely more needs to be done since evidence also shows that children are exposed to unacceptable risks online from cyberbullying and harmful content. Children need to be able to identify these risks so they can use the internet safely. In order to do so, there must be coherent government legislation to force social networks to improve child safety.
In today’s digital age that we live in, it is hard to completely ban the use of internet when it is such an ingrained part of our everyday lives. However, I personally feel that like everything else, moderation and common sense is key.
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