The story was revealed a few days ago by the newspaper Guardian. In Greystones, a town south of Dublin in Ireland, parents have come together to tell their kids they can’t have a smartphone until they reach high schoolusually at the age of 12 or 13.
The parents’ associations of the eight elementary schools in the district, where the children are between 4 and 12 years old, can opt for the ban, according to that communication outlet.
The purpose of parents with this measure – which as it was clarified is voluntary – is to “prolong childhood” by reducing anxiety and exposure to adult content that is often caused by the use of smartphones.
For it, A kind of code of non-use of smartphones has been adopted that is intended to be applied not only in schools but also in homes. Educational institutions in the area have already banned or restricted cell phone use, but the effects of social media lingered, according to the report.
“If everyone does it across the board, you don’t feel like you’re the outsider. It makes it so much easier to say no,” he told Guardian Laura Bourne, whose son is in elementary school. “The longer we can preserve her innocence, the better.”
Not all parents have chosen to participate, but Rachel Harper, a primary school principal who led the initiative, told the outlet that a “sufficient” number of parents have chosen to make a meaningful difference.
The proposal is getting more and more welcome in that country. Indeed, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, who has three children and lives near Greystones, wrote an opinion piece in the Irish Times last week in support of the ban.
“Ireland can be, and must be, a world leader in ensuring that children and young people are not targeted or harmed by their interactions with the digital world,” Donnelly wrote. “We must make it easy for parents to limit the content their children are exposed to,” she added.
Initiatives have already been promoted in other parts of the world. In India, for example, the case of a town that prohibited the use of smartphones for all those under 18 years of age was known, according to the Times of India. It is about a village in Yavatmal, in Maharashtra, where those who are found using a smartphone will face a small financial penalty.
What is certain is that the impacts of smartphone use on children and adolescents are becoming a growing concern as ongoing studies seek to analyze the long-lasting effects on the brain.
A study by the National Institutes of Health, the United States government’s main agency responsible for biomedicine and public health, is leading research, which has already established that children who spend more than two hours in front of a screen each day get lower scores on tests focused on thinking and language skills.
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