WHAT AGE SHOULD A CHILD HAVE A COMPUTER/SMARTPHONE?
After 2000, the technology has encountered a deep development. The marketing of many devices has increased with this situation. The use of telephone is no longer limited to talking and texting but it has extended to a large implication. It may be used as a device to connect, to text message, to store bank account, to register your ledger and so forth. Besides, the evolution of internet after 2000 has provoked the quick development of computer and smartphone use. Apart from professional and enterprise, those who are the most attracted by this technology is the children. They use it to search something on the internet and to chat with their friends. Today it is extending to the social network and studying use, principally with simplicity to access internet. Their principal devices are computer and smartphone. So the question is, what age should a child have an electronic device? How many hours per day? Should they use it only for problem solving and what is the common sense?
COMPUTER AND SMARTPHONE FOR CHILDREN: A DILEMMA
Nowadays we can live without smartphone and computer if we do activities. Studies, courses, lessons and job and moreover can be done with the help of these devices. You can connect in the internet, call whoever you want and take pictures and video of who you want. This wide range of usage seems to be upsetting, mainly for children’s parents. Looking at the capacity of smartphone and computer to gather information is alarming. For instance if a child has a computer he can store pictures containing violence, sexual act and bad behaviors. In addition with the access of web, he can easily download some videos, pictures or facts they are not supposed to know at their age. That may incite them to behave and act like they see in images. With evolution of social network, it is almost impossible to control who is getting in touch with your child. And the use of such devices can affect their health if some precaution are not taken. He is still an inept and can’t really assess the impact of his act. In the other hand we all know that it is useful for children to have these devices to get in touch with them, to allow them to contact with friends and family, to help them in their studies and their life. But the deal is how to control them and how to protect them from the bad effects of these apparatus. For us we want to focus on the age when they could get a smartphone or a computer.
15 TO 16: A REASONABLE AGE TO HAVE A COMPUTER OR A SMARTPHONE
Legally the term child refers to anyone under the age of majority. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines child as “a human being below the age of 18 years. In some country I is under 16 or 14. And biologically a child is a human being between birth and 16. There is already a deal but for us we judge that in the age of 15 or more 16, a child can get a computer or a smartphone. This is good time because he is mature enough to be taught about the use of laptop and smartphone. He is responsible and can already take care about all disciplines. Nevertheless, he must be followed and parents have to set some usage rules. Furthermore, at these age they want to know things and they explore many things, so smartphone and computer are so useful for them. However parents should always establish guidelines. In addition they can set the parental control on all devices, follow their children habits, and teach them how to use such device and share things with them in order to be involved in children’s virtual life. They have to teach children to take precaution while using device, to avoid health problems. In United States, at the age of 16, a child can have a driving license with approbation of parents. That are the age of the beginning of maturity. At that age, we can give to them responsibilities and some missions. But then again why don’t we offer them such device at any age?
You can offer smartphone or computer to child at any moments he can manipulate it.
Nowadays the world is in the core of the technology so it is sometimes impossible to avoid using it. This is the case of many applications and software that can be used to teach children. Many manufacturers and developers offer this possibility by integrating teaching tools and software educational program in the device. Innovation force the habits. So it is then possible to give computer to a child of 6 year as to give a smartphone to a child of 16. But the rules are discipline and control. For instance: to use phone with headphone to respect silence, to not use it in school while studying, or in public place to avoid robber, to avoid to bring smartphone as computer while sleeping in order to fight against health deterioration. After that, about the problem of social networks and web navigation, parents can active the parental control in devices. They should verify and follow what their children are doing with their devices. Using anti-sexting, anti-spam and anti-malware can rise the web protection of children from alarming events. Forbid them not to download useless pictures, video or e-books.
The use of computer and smartphone could then begin at the age of 6 but with many precautions, restrictions of screen time and limits. In the other side parents and educators should determine the main issues to regulate usage in order to protect their children and reinforce the control points. But control is not only limited to children, that involves all users limit because we are all in danger face up the evolution of the computer and smartphone technology. We are in continuous evolution of technology and all dangers related to it. Brief, parents and their children have to be very careful before buying and while using device. It’s a matter of privacy, security and health.