Garfield Senior High School

Opinion: Are kids exposed to technology too soon?

How old were we when we first started playing with our parents’ phones? Many of us would probably say when we were still very young. But there are children who now have their own tablet or phone because it helps parents keep their child distracted for a certain duration of time.

It also acts as a way for the parents to get more things done. Indeed, if children are distracted and safe playing on some technological device, parents could get much more done.

Lately, there have been more and more parents who have now been letting their kids play violent video games because of the amount of popularity they have been getting from kids who are still in elementary school. This begs the question should kids be allowed to be exposed to technology that can ultimately expose them to ideas that they shouldn’t be exposed to yet?

Many parents have no idea what their kids may or may not be doing half the time on the internet. It is so easy for a child as young as six to download a violent video game from the App Store or Play Store because all they need to know is their mom or dad’s password to download that game. It has gotten to the point where there are now phones with a kid’s mode just so the child can play and be protected from the harm of what a simple click can do. It wasn’t that long ago that smartphones were becoming a thing among adults and elderly, but now that kids see almost everyone with a phone they of course want one.

I for one have a cousin who is in third grade and her mother gave her a tablet in second grade. It was an iPad, but after a year she wanted something more. Her mother gave her an iPhone for Christmas. The second she got that phone her first thought was to download Snapchat and add as many people as she could. There was just one thing — she didn’t have that many friends her age who had a phone that can get Snapchat. This caused her to do the next best idea she could think of-add her family. Oddly enough, she also added my cousin’s girlfriend.

It comes to no excuse that a child her age should have no affiliation with owning a phone belonging to her and only her whatsoever. Can we blame them for having the ability to want a phone because everyone else has one? No we can’t — they’re just kids who want to be like everyone else.

Can we blame the parents for giving their phones to their kids so that they can play games? No we can’t, but if there is a child who has a phone of their own then that is where the line is being stepped on and should not be passed. A child does not have the ability to say no to themselves, but when it comes to protection the parents do have that ability and responsibility.