In this era of technicality, some of the parents who belong to Greystones, Ireland, have united to curb the negative impact of smartphones on their children. The parents have voluntarily initiated to ban the smartphone until children reach secondary school which simply states that the age of the children should be around 12 or 13 years old.
The initiative is considered as one of the rarest example of collective action in the digital age. This state has gathered the support from all eight primary schools in the district. Parents’ associations have chosen to enforce the ban not only in schools but also at the homes. Parents’ association has also acknowledged restrictions within school premises which were insufficient to curb the effects of social media and digital exposure.
Voluntary Ban Uses School Regulations to break the Peer Pressure
The purpose of ban is not to enforce uniformity across all families. Instead, it’s helpful in facilitating the flexibility to families to make their own decisions. As per the principal of primary school, Rachel Harper the program has already found favor among parents who are creating a groundswell that may eventually become the norm.
As per Harper, the policy makes the presentation of an opportunity for parents to manage the delicate balance between embracing technology and protecting childhood innocence. Harper said that the parents love it – now they can blame the schools. This approach makes use of school regulations to mitigate potential peer pressure and resentment among the children.
The excessive utilization of smartphone can massively affect the children’s health. According to the studies of National Institutes of Health, children who spend over two hours daily on screens tend to score lower in thinking and language tests.
Moreover, the increased level of anxiety among the children in Greystones, partially attributed to the COVID-19-era adaptation
Now the question that comes into the mind is-
What Do the Children Think of the Ban?
The policy has the local support. It has a potential impact that has piqued interest over the international platform. Parents’ associations along with Stephen Donnelly who is the Ireland’s health minister, advocates nationwide adoption of this policy. Donnelly emphasized on the effort that Ireland can be a world leader in ensuring that children and young people are not targeted and are not harmed by the digital world.
Interestingly, children have voiced mixed sentiments about the same policy. Some of the children are willing recognize the risk of potential addiction, and to wait too. While others express their desire for connection and inclusion.
India Already Ahead of the Digital Curve
The trend towards regulating digital exposure is running since long. But in India like country, towns have implemented similar restrictions on smartphone usage for the students and children who are under the age of 18. However, the collective action of Greystones’ parents and schools stands out in this ongoing global dialogue on digital wellbeing.