Kochi: The young generation largely shares elders' concerns over the use of smart phones and say it's better to have a child-oriented phone for them than a smart phone.
"The smart phone has shrunk the world," agrees Anna Vincen P, Class XI student of Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Kunnamkulam, Thrissur. "It entertains, educates and informs. But the flip side is, social media accessed through them spread fake news to insult people."
The smart phones are the reason why some children find themselves in difficult situations, said Anna. "Bad photos and videos influence children in a negative way or can hurt them. Social media chats lead to wastage of time and restrict physical activities leading to health problems," she said. Anna said the proper use of smart phones is beneficial, though. "So, restrict their use by children below 17," she said.
Anamika T.R., Class XI student of the same school, said mobile phone is a type of intoxicant. "It has reduced face-to-face communication," she said. "Excessive gaming and messaging impact academic performance; chats and calls are a distraction. We should use them in a proper, useful way."
According to Anphine Antony, Class VIII student of SBOA Public Senior Secondary School, South Chittoor, Ernakulam, basic phones are the right choice for children below 16. "Their curiosity can create many problems," she said. "Students can use parents' phone if they need virtual help for studies. The parents should also keep an eye on websites the child is using," Anphine said.
She said she has a basic mobile phone which she uses for making calls. "I am tempted to use my parents' phone when they forget them at home. If this is my situation, what would be with students having a phone on their own?," asked Anphine.
Not everyone is afraid of the new gadget. Christy Denees P., Class IX student of SBOA School, opined that children of today want to innovate and eventually make the world a better place and for it "we have to understand technology."
"A smart phone is a valuable piece of technology," said Christy. "One out of several laws for children is that they should not use smart phones. I don't believe that a smart phone can ruin children if they use it for benefit and for limited time." Students may use smart phones under parental guidance," Christy said.
"Social media makes public what food we eat, dress we wear and places we visit," said Bhadra S. Manu of SBOA School. "Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc expand our social reach and PUBG, candycrush etc provide us recreation. On the other side, they leave our biometrics and online trails open for others to track. The anxious teenagers, being unable to take mature decision, sometimes fall in traps through social media."
'Mentally provoked and physically ill' is the present situation of cyber addicts below 18 years, she said. "The unenthusiastic teens are reluctant to study or play but are happy to spend hours online in Instagram and Facebook. So I do feel keeping us children away from smart phones is the best way to keep us safe."...