Psychologist: ban smartphones for kids

06.06.2023 - 12:12
Psychologist: ban smartphones for kids
Research indicates a solid correlation between early access to smartphones/tablets and mental illness later in life

On the principle of strength in numbers, parents in the Irish town of Greystones have banded together to collectively tell their children they cannot have a smartphone until secondary school, reports the Guardian.

“If everyone does it across the board you don’t feel like you’re the odd one out. It makes it so much easier to say no,” parent Laura Bourne told the paper. “The longer we can preserve their innocence the better.”

 >> SEE ALSO School wants total ban on mobile phones

Faroese psychologist Gitte Klein says the Greystones initiative sets a good example which should also be implemented in the Faroes.

“Such an initiative would cost us nothing, and we can ask ourselves if any child would suffer from not having a smartphone before turning 14 or even 16,” she says.

“A growing body of research indicates that the earlier a child is given access to a smartphone or a table, the higher the likelihood of the child developing mental illnesses later in life.”

 >> SEE ALSO Lots of fun in phone-free classroom

Klein acknowledges that manufacturers of smartphones and tablets have reached their objectives considering how dependent children and adults have become on these devices.

But she thinks it is not too late to turn things around so that our social lives return from smartphones back to how we used to live.

 >> SEE ALSO New screen time guidelines

“Now it is time for us – parents, schools and society as a whole – to gather the courage to take the research findings seriously and make some unpopular decisions,” she says.

“We have conditioned ourselves and our children to see smartphones as a natural part of our social lives. If we make the brave decision to ban young children from using smartphones, this peer pressure might fade away – the normality of basing our social lives around smartphones might die down. Why not give it a try?”


Read the Faroese version of this article here.

More Faroese News in English.

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