A week ago Marc Masip met Kietoparao and shared with us a very interesting morning about the dangers of technologies. Let it be clear that all of us who join the screen free movement believe that technologies are crucial in our lives, very important for the future and that when used well they are wonderful. But we have to educate ourselves to use them well.
Those attending the event left very happy and many were left wanting to know more. We too.
We loved meeting you, we loved seeing so many people related to education involved and we loved being able to share our concerns. Those that, deep down, worry us all. We always defend that "educating in responsible use is everyone's business"
We always say that Kietoparao was born with a "malamadre" spirit. It was designed to have a quiet after-dinner meal without having to resort to the cell phone. But once we entered the screen free movement we realized that much of the information we were discovering was not known to the people around us. We have a lot of work to do in terms of informing the world about the dangers of inappropriate use of technologies.
We have been assaulted by a Tsunami of attractive latest generation mobile phones, iPads for children, video games... and no one has told us the consequences. If it's for kids... it will be fine.
Nobody has told us that cell phones create addiction and since everyone has it, it seems that it is normal. It is becoming normal for someone to recognize cell phone addiction, but if you ask about other addictions such as cocaine or alcohol, things change.
Let's summarize 10 of the conclusions we drew from the event:
- GENERALIZED UNKNOWLEDGE. We have no idea of the consequences of excessive use of screens. The World Health Organization says that from 0 to 2 years old, no screens and up to 5 years old, almost nothing. From there, moderate use, but... what is moderate? This makes us think that a 10-year-old child can have a cell phone, because he or she will use it moderately. But that "moderate" time is exposed to dangers for which it is not maturely prepared at 10 years old.
We have no idea about cookies, about accepting privacy policies, we don't know what they do with our data...
2. THE MOBILE PHONE IS NOT A TOY. It is a state-of-the-art computer with access to the world, which is also good for calling. They can find, without effort: viral challenges, forums with techniques to vomit and not get caught, older people posing as a child...
3. DIGITAL NATIVES DO NOT EXIST . We totally agree with this statement. Children have been born in a digital age where cell phones come without instructions because they do not need them, but they are not born from a computer. Companies invest millions in making technologies intuitive and you want to spend more and more time in front of screens.
4. WE NEED REGULATION AND PROHIBITIONS.
5. ACCEPT WITHOUT READING. In some video games we come to accept that we will never report the company if the video game creates any type of damage to us, of any kind... had anyone read that? Some of the dangers are explained HERE.
6. THEY DON'T NEED A SMARTPHONE UNTIL... 16. Setting a recommended age is not easy when you have great social pressure because "all their friends have it", "they are isolated", "they are the weirdo"... It is important to remember that they don't need it. If they need a phone, it doesn't have to be a smartphone. And even less one that costs more than all the clothes he's wearing. We leave you here a very interesting article about this: If your children say the ten phrases, you are educating them well.
7. VIRTUAL ME VS REAL ME. AND ABSOLUTE LOSS OF PRIVACY.
Once children have access to social networks, they publish images that they never know where they may appear.
Another important fact is that some teenagers take refuge in anonymity to create several accounts on social networks with the intention of spying or insulting. It is important to educate them that they are a single person and that they must treat people outside and inside the networks with the same respect.
They use the networks to publish only cool things and create a virtual self that is very different from their real self... be careful!
8 . THE NEW WAYS OF LIVING SOCIAL LIFE ARE NOT SOCIAL LIFE.
9. THE VIRTUAL CAN NEVER REPLACE THE REAL. This phrase was one of Marc Masip's conclusions, with which we completely agree. Looking into each other's eyes, feeling a friend's hug, or laughing together can never be replaced.
10.DISCONNECT TO LIVE. Humanizing ourselves a little again wouldn't be bad at all.
We left many things out but we promise to continue working to inform you and help you as parents. We are all lost and together it is surely easier.
What we are clear about is that we need more Kietosparaos around the world, to be able to enjoy family, friends and put aside our worries for a while to become children again.