Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Mobile phones cost children

  • It is very important to ban mobile phones for minors, and this is the time to fight for it.

07 March 2024 - 11:32

Would you give a kick to a 12-year-old? Can a 15-year-old girl drive a car? Do you think it reasonable to vote with eleven years? Are you going to give a cigarette to a 14-year-old boy? Would you see with good eyes that your 13-year-old daughter is consuming MDMA? Although all these questions are merely sensationalism, they are not far from the problem of children’s relationships with mobiles today. Because it's absolutely normal to buy an artifact with the power of a computer when they're very small. Located in the logic of the market, upon reaching high school, at approximately 12 years old, it has become normal to give a mobile to children. Two are the main reasons behind this decision: the fear of staying out of the group and the need for socialization. However, there is also the comfort of parents.

The consequences of mobiles, screens in general, in children and minors are well known: lack of concentration, excessive stimulation, misconception of reality, difficulties to develop social relations, psychological problems. In addition, it offers facilities to access inappropriate content such as pornography, severe violence (including rape), machistan models, non-educational models. Heteronormative order of a hypersexual society, predominance of savage and irresponsible consumerism and unlimited violence. In general, an educational system and a whole system of values that can fight very hard for the work of parents, which goes directly against the autonomy of children and the critical voice.

For the economic structure of capitalism, it's very profitable for our children to rely on screens.

In addition to psychological health, there are deeper reasons to protect minors from mobiles, often ignored: the profitability of capitalism is at stake in the relationship that children create with technology. In the twenty-first century, social interaction is one of the main sources of wealth generation, social relationships, content embedded in networks, photographs, the imaginary we generate in free time, all of which generates value today. Therefore, there is an enormous interest in minors having little autonomy in the management of their mobiles.

The economic infrastructure is very hard: for the economic structure of capitalism it is very profitable for our children to depend on screens, making public their relations, desires, problems and sorrows, which will generate huge economic benefits to companies. Mobile phones make children more profitable, as the fact that poor staff are glued to screens causes fewer social conflicts. High-level staff in Silicon Valley know that children's cognitive development occurs without screens.

There are people who are aware of this. In recent weeks, since Catalonia, numerous groups of parents are being organized to request the use of mobile phone regulations for minors. However, the Spanish Minister of Education quickly said that it was impossible to set limits to the sea. This liberal distrust and pragmatism had a rapid response to Congress, pointing out that they will drive the popular legislative initiative. As a result, at the beginning of December, the Ministry launched a proposal to communities to ban the use of mobile phones in schools in primary and secondary schools. This first proposal is not enough: the regulation and the strength of the proposal will be decisive.

The real conflict is now beginning, when we need to deepen the political debate and decide between the interests of the mobile industry and the rights of minors. That is why it is very important to ban mobile phones for minors, and this is the time to fight for it. The limits are harsh, because the industry will not give in easily, but behind this defence of children and children there is a major objective: to guarantee the autonomy of children in as many years as possible.

Nerea Fillat

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