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Should I give my child a tablet or a smart phone?

Posted by Danny Nutt on February 22, 2017 at 10:50 AM

Everywhere you go nowadays, people are on their phones. On the train platform, in the pub, on the street, in the park. It appears it’s taken over our lives. Some see this as a positive thing. It’s changed the way we can work, we get to communicate more with each other, shop on the move and see the news as it happens wherever we are. Others see it more in a more negative light. It removes you from the real world; you become more insular and less inclined to read books, walk for the sake of walking, or just be.

I think I’m more in the latter camp. Yes, I use my iPhone a lot for work on the move and use it for social media and to take photos. But it kind of depresses me when I see a father in the playground with his child, constantly looking at his phone instead of his child. Or, as I saw recently, a dad glued to his phone for the entire duration of lunch on a Sunday in the local pub- while his young daughter sat staring in to space. Or a whole family in a pizza restaurant each on their own device.

These are sad images. Humans more connected to electronic objects than their own flesh and blood.

So considering all of this makes me stick to my guns. I don’t want my children (who are 9 and 6) to have a tablet. I want them to enjoy their childhood like I did: playing musical instruments, getting in to sports, playing with friends, talking to their parents over dinner, going for a walk in the woods, throwing pebbles in to the sea and experiencing real life. I often put my phone on silent and out of sight when I’m with them. I want to be present with them, not in a remote sub-reality.

I’m sure one day I will give in and they will have one. But for now, I think I’m doing the right thing. They’re both happy, sociable and healthy. And that makes the struggle of telling them they can’t have their own iPad yet all the more worth it…

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