It’s normal to have a smartphone. When I was growing up, having a normal cell phone E.g. an Alcatel Pocketline Swing, a Nokia 3310 or even a Motorola Razr flip phone was a big deal. Nowadays you get a hand me down iPhone or Samsung Galaxy when you are about 7. But with more freedom on and offline it can also give you more vulnerabilities from cybercrime and other nefarious actions.
Therefore its important to keep your kids safe. Companies like Google and Facebook have already created specialised apps for kids that give you a little parental control over what they see.
Youtube helps you approve what they watch with Youtube Kids. This specialised app gives you control over what they are allowed to see by filtering videos and determine how long your kids can watch Youtube before shutting off.
Facebook has created Messenger Kids. Its basically Facebook Messenger but with parental controls like contact approvals by parents, sleepmode (the app will not work) and no way to remove messages, for if parents want to check in on them. It also contains fun features like filters for video chatting and stickers to apply on pictures. A good thing to note is that you don’t need to have a Facebook account to use Messenger Kids.
For newer apps though its always good to be a little weary for the impact it can have on their lives. New social media realms like TikTok and Byte haven’t proven what they are doing for the safety of the children and this can turn out to be hard thing to monitor.
Apps like Candycrush and Angry Birds should be labeled with a warning. Sure its great to have your kids play a game on their iPad or phone but be careful with micro transactions. Make sure they understand that real money is at stake if they use it and warn them of the consciences.
When I got my first phone back in 2002 I was over the moon that I could play snake on my matrixscreen. But times have changed, and so have todays youth. We just have to be sure that we grow with them.
Let’s talk again soon,