Parenting

What Is The Best Age For Children To Start Using Technology?

Here, we are talking about one of the issues that most worry fathers, mothers, and educators: At what age should a boy or a girl start using technology?

What should we be wary of?

According to Aark Learnings today, boys and girls come into contact with technology in the same world they were born in. From ultrasound to baby bottle sterilizers, the technology currently offers us endless advantages and facilities that our grandparents (and in many cases our parents) did not have.

What is this? Because, when we talk about technology, we don’t want to refer to ALL technology, but to technology that can be harmful to children during their growth and maturation. That is devices with screens and Internet connection.

Where is the danger?

Whether due to the risk of addiction or the potential danger to which they are exposed by wandering uncontrolled through the virtual world, any contact by a minor with a device with a screen and connected to the Internet must be controlled at all times by an adult.

As we have just mentioned, the main dangers that minor faces in front of a screen are two:

Addiction

The business model of technology companies such as Apple, Google, or Facebook has changed a lot in recent years. If before, applications and online services had a price, even if it was low, now the law of “everything is free” prevails.

What does this mean? That these companies make money knowing our tastes (which has been spying on us without regard) and putting ads on us. Logically, the more time we spend in front of the screen, the more ads we will see.

For this reason, the applications and games that we use and use with our children and students are designed to keep them glued to the screen for as long as possible. They are designed to generate addiction.

Scams, bullying, harassment, pornography, intense fear, etc.

Not too many years ago, before the Internet, one had to worry about keeping oneself safe (and keeping one’s loved ones safe) in one world. Today, any father, mother, teacher or teacher has the task of educating and protecting minors in two very different worlds: the real and the virtual.

This means double work. Because when before we had to worry about not having our wallets stolen on the subway, now we also had to worry about not having our accounts emptied by a hacker. If before we had to control who our children played with in the park or who they went out to have fun with, now also who they play with on the Internet. If bullies used to harass them in the yard or on the street, now they also do it on social networks.

All this not to mention pornography, which with the Internet is just a button away at any time, and a lot of other content that would hurt even a stone’s sensibilities such as intense horror videos, murders, video clips of reggaeton, or the cheap youtubers who teach them how to get high with household products or how to steal a motorcycle without getting caught.

So, at what age can they start using a tablet or mobile?

Before putting themselves (or that we put them) in front of a screen connected to the Internet, they must know how to protect themselves in the virtual world.

As always, it depends on the maturity of the boy or girl and the knowledge that we have previously instilled in them. In no case should they start using an Internet screen on their own. Just like we teach them to ride a bike without ending up in a ditch with their heads split open, we must initially accompany them at all times during their initiation on the Internet.

It has been established, as a convention, the age of 14 years is the age of maturity sufficient to know how to use a social network with a head. That is the age recommended for children to start using the internet that you must keep in mind at all times. Even digital gurus raise their children without screens.

In our opinion, before that age, no boy or girl should walk alone on the Internet. If they are playing an online game, we need to monitor how long they play and who they play with. If they search for information on Google for a school project, we must control at all times which pages they visit.

If they have a profile on a social network, which they shouldn’t, we must know at all times who they talk to, what content they share and who their friends are.

But how do I do that without looking like I’m controlling them?

It just has to look like you’re controlling them! We have to violate our children’s privacy. We have to look where they are going, then only we will be able to protect them. This sounds like controlling parents or educators, but just as we must know who they go out with, we must know who they “go out” with on the Internet.

Some useful tips

  1. The screens at home and in the educational centre must always be in a visible place and controlled by adults.
  2. Minors must access computers and mobile devices with their user, whose operating system and browser are equipped with parental control and access, editing, and content restrictions.
  3. Create a folder in the browser’s bookmarks bar with the pages they can visit so they’re highly accessible and they don’t have to search.
  4. Go with them whenever they have to search and insist that they don’t talk to strangers on the Internet.
  5. Teach them not to share images or videos that could compromise them now or in the future.
  6. Cover the “selfie” cameras of all the devices you use and use them with a sticker.
  7. Teach them to keep a close eye on the permissions they grant to the apps they download and not to download potentially dangerous apps.
  8. Organise talks at the centre or attend workshops with your children that talk about technology, screens, the Internet, security, and privacy.

In summary

Boys and girls should never start using the Internet alone. They should always be accompanied by an adult who guides them and teaches them to protect themselves.

The Internet carries several risks that you should be aware of before using the Internet. The main ones are the danger of addiction and the risk of coming into contact with criminals, stalkers or content that may hurt your sensitivity.

The age of 14 years has been established as the minimum age to have a profile on social networks. Before this age, it is not recommended that they have their own mobile or tablet.

Admin

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