BY Wesley Diphoko 2 MINUTE READ

There’s a movement against smartphones. Initially it focused on how smartphones are killing productivity, now it’s turning its focus on the impact on kids.

The movement is gathering momentum to an extent that one media entity has reported that in the United Kingdom there’s speculation that the government is considering a ban of smartphones for kids under 16. It goes on to say that there’s even a poll which found out that most parents would back a ban on children under 16 having smartphones in the UK. The publication indicates that the survey for the charity Parentkind found 58% of parents of school-aged kids think smartphones should be banned for under 16s. It rose to 77% among mums and dads whose children are in primary school. This development coupled with another move towards the comeback of dumbphones tells you everything you need to know about the future of smartphones. Some companies have noticed the move and developed products for those who are moving away from smartphones. Companies like Punkt and Light are catering to the trend, selling devices geared toward those with a desire to spend less time on their phones and social media.The fact that technology giants have been caught misusing the data of users is also fuelling the move towards the use of dumb phones. While calls for smartphone free childhood are understandable, there’s a need for parents to be balanced and careful. The adults of tomorrow will live in a digital world which will require them to understand digital life across the board. Taking away smartphones from kids may have a negative impact on how they will navigate the future. We know already that there are careers that emanate from being digital beings. How a ban on smartphones will impact their future prospects? There’s no denying that there are terrible things online which require an intervention at a different level. Parents need to play their role of guiding kids. In addition, there’s a need to address content by manufacturers of smartphones. Is there a need for companies like Apple, Samsung and others to develop devices specifically for kids?

Is there a need for stricter rules for devices that are used by teenagers? These are some of the questions that need to be answered as part of a process of safeguarding young ones. As for the impact of smartphones on productivity there’s probably a need to start considering feature/dumb phones again. For those who are balanced enough to enjoy the benefits that come with smartphones there’s still a threat for smartphones in the near future. New products such as the RayBan Meta aswell as the AI Pin are an indication that there’s a future where smartphone use will be less and replaced by other products. All of these developments should be taken into account when the current and future of smartphones is considered. Those who are considering a ban on smartphones for kids should also understand that smartphones won’t be here forever. What happens when another similar product comes up? There’s a need to start reflecting deeply about the current and future impact of technology across society. Our understanding of current and future technology developments should inform how we want to interact with it. The good news is that there’s some hope. Products such as smart rings and other wearable devices are taking away the distraction from tech and making it part of our being. We should be thinking about unintended consequences of all tech products and not just smartphones.