For many years all I do is encourage individuals and businesses to make the best out of digital technology – the internet and the World Wide Web to be precise. I also acknowledge the fact that early adoption of technology is the best for any individual especially for those who seek to code the best software ever. But from what age is it safe to leave your kid to explore technology without it being a threat to his/her being? I’ve always believed that the more efficient a tool is; the more damage it can cause. That’s why a person has to be 18yrs and above (in Ghana) before they are given the license to drive any vehicle. The same applies to owning a gun, probably with even more stringent rules.
I was in church and seated behind 2 girls between the ages of 8 and 12. As usual as it is today, they had a smartphone which they were fidgeting with. Throughout the period I spotted these 2, all they did was flip through photos play games, watch music videos, etc. So I ask myself, is technology all about entertainment? Is that the only thing we teach our kids about technology? It got to a time we had to stand up to sing a hymn which I did but these 2 didn’t stand, and to my very big surprise the photos these 2 were watching and were all excited about were nude photos. What I do not know is whether the phone is theirs or it’s for their parents, that I can’t tell. But these kids will definitely jump onto the internet to get more of such contents once they have fully enjoyed what is on the phone. This is when I got a bit disappointed about technology.
I think leaving your child with any device that connects them to the world without monitoring them is just like leaving them in the midst of the most corrupt minds in the world. They can easily learn how to kill, how to steal, how to take hard drugs, you just name it. There have been many incidents of children being recruited into cults and other violent movements in recent years via the web and it’s all because we, the parents, do not monitor who our children interact with and what they do on the World Wide Web. Some scary scenarios are how thieves disguise themselves and connect with the little ones on social media to tap information on the whereabouts of their parents so they know exactly when to strike. The kids don’t see these dangers as we do, that’s why we need to monitor and control the use of the internet and the Web in our homes. There are initiatives by organizations such as Tigo (Millicom Ghana) and J. Initiative to help protect children online. Tigo in partnership with J. Initiative have organized several trainings for teachers and pupils on how to be safe on the web. Share your ideas on how parents can exercise caution so their wards do not fall victims to this internet violence.