Word on the street: Smartphones and children
Public opinion on the streets of Muscat
How much time do you think your kids/kids around you spend on electronic gadgets? Do you manage their gadget time vs other activities/sports?
Kasun Jayakody, Physical trainer
Children nowadays are so addicted to their phones that they are busy portraying lives than actually living them. I think this would have a negative effect on them in the long run.
Osman Khan, Private sector employee
I feel children are more hooked to technology. I have seen parents who keep a check on their children but teenagers are more into smartphones now and social gatherings have become a thing of the past. There are less children outdoors than there were when I was young.
Geetha Vasudevan, Private sector employee
I feel the current generation has been exposed to the world of information very early. This has taken away too many things from them and prevented them from learning social skills, playing outside, striking a conversation or being original. I certainly think children don’t like to go out nowadays.
Subashri R S, Marketing executive
Children nowadays are always with electronic gadgets. They rarely venture out to play. It is quite disheartening to see empty parks in the evenings.
Fatima Ali, Homemaker
It is actually heartbreaking to see what kids are going through these days. They have been exposed early to technology and information that could have been controlled in the earlier days. The entire concept of smartphones has made children sadder, more materialistic and feeling inferior. I have seen children being happier on their phones rather than being out.
Ahmed Khan, Engineer
I have not really seen many children around on smartphones probably because they are too young. But I have seen new parents using smartphones to coax their babies. It is a wrong strategy which affects children’s attitude. It makes them aggressive and stubborn. It is alarming to see children developing relationships on the basis of what smartphones their friends own.
Are you worried that they might be exposed to content not suitable for them? What do you do to shield them from such exposure?
Megebl Balushi , Private sector employee
Yes, it is a matter of concern as children can’t distinguish good from bad. Parents need to keep tab on what their children are up to in the online world. My smartphones are password-enabled so that my nephews and nieces don’t have access to them all the time.
Mohammad Faisal, Businessman
Of course, this is a matter of high concern in today’s world. We have to regulate the Net usage so that they don’t spend too much time in the online world. I often switch off my phone data to ensure my niece and nephews don’t access the Web regularly.
Saif al Harthy, Designer
It is difficult to track content that children access online. They are very smart and somehow manage to access Web or play games on phones. We need to educate children on the dangers that they might be exposed to due to such indulgence.
Maulid al Dhawi, Storeman
Yes, I am worried. We cannot just stop them from using gadgets one fine day because they will still get them if they want to. We need to observe their online habits.
Faisal Rashid, Businessman
No, I am not worried as such but regular monitoring is the need of the hour. Children usually start slowly with light content but they gradually start accessing stuff not suitable for their age group. Awareness is crucial in this regard.
Humaid Hamad, IT expert
Yes, I am concerned but not worried as such. The good thing is that this generation is more into football and games. However, we need to keep a tab on them on what they do online. We need to educate them on the dangers of using technology all the time.
What do you think are the effects of high usage of electronic gadgets among children? Do you feel that technology is making children more asocial or do you think it is a boon for them?
Sehenaz Parwin, Homemaker
Children can’t do without smartphones these days. It has become problematic as they have stopped interacting among their peer groups. As more electronic gadgets enter households, children are becoming slaves to them. It’s the real-time interaction which helps in boosting the learning capacity of children. Studies have even proven that.
Manini Tripathy, Homemaker
Children have become so much addicted to gadgets that they are ignoring everything around them including their parents. Technology is supposed to help people to excel. Today, a child is more happy in the company of a tablet or a mobile phone. They are reluctant to go out and play with their peers.
Santoshi Hota, Engineer
Some of the diseases that are common among children today can be partially attributed to the effects of technology. Eye diseases and obesity can be attributed to spending hours in front of television or playing games on tablets or mobile phones. It is more of a bane than a boon.
Ali al Nabhani, Financial sector employee
It is quite apparent that electronic gadgets have made children of our time more sedentary, who prefer to be glued to their phones/gadgets rather than going out to play or meet friends. All day long they are chatting with their friends on their phones so there isn’t a need to go out and explore. There are quite a few benefits of technology, like being aware of whatever is happening around you, but then it is making the present generation more of a recluse.
Mohanned al Hasani, Private sector employee
No one can deny the power of social media and the technology, but there are many cons to the overexposure to that media as well. Children are getting exposed to things on the Net not suitable for their age; they are often targeted by their peers as well as adults, leaving them scarred for life. The present generation likes to hang out with their phones, reason they find themselves at odds when they socialise in real life.
Adeel Khan, Manager
Although social media/phones are meant to connect you with your friends like never before, but that virtual interaction has made our generation more of a social misfit. They spend so much energy telling the world what they are eating or who they are with that when it comes to real life they find it hard to socialise.