Friday, 23 March 2018


Some adults think that a child - even babies as young as two or three are so "smart", "clever" and "tech savvy" when they see them with their faces buried in a smartphone or tablet device, navigating the device by jabbing away on the screen with their finger.

Well sorry to disappoint you but these devices are designed to be intuitively navigated and operated so that that any tech-illiterate person can use them, and children being curious, intuitive and willing to explore take to such devices like ducks to water without needing to know how the technology  behind the screen works.

Back in the 1980s when there were no smartphones, I had heard about parents just plunking their toddler in front of the TV to keep them quiet whilst they went about their work but al least in some countries they had children's educational TV programmes from which pre-school aged children could learn some basics such as the alphabet, numbers and so forth but with smartphones and tablets with Internet connectivity, they can access anything, whether of beneficial or negative influence, or just waste hours accessing trivial junk online.

Besides young children, I know some teenagers and adults who know their smartphones backwards but can't even compose a decent e-mail or letter on a PC even if their lives depend on it. Welcome to the Information and Services Society, touted by paperback writers, futurists and pandits since back in the 1970s, who rather interestingly have vanished below the media, seminar and conference radar since the neo-liberal, globalised, capitalist world has been mired in economic crisis and moribundity since 2008.

Of course, smartphone and tablet manufacturers love it when more people buy their products, whilst cellular network operators (cellular phone companies) love it when people with these devices buy their data plans, so they can laugh all their ways to their banks with hard earned money paid to them by the plebeian masses who fall for their advertising and promotions.

In this article by Free Malaysia Today of 23 March 2018, Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Rahim warned that the consequences of parents leaving their children to bury their faces in their smartphones and tablets could result in denying the development of a natural bond between children and parents and moreover could lead to the children lacking in soft skills and getting addicted to phones.

Electronic devices kill parents’ bond with kids, warns group

Sheith Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar

The Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) is concerned that many parents are using such devices to keep their children quiet.

PAGE says only a small number of parents monitor their children’s internet activity.

PETALING JAYA: A parents’ group has warned using electronic devices to keep children quiet will destroy the bond between parents and their kids.

Speaking to FMT, Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Noor Azimah Rahim said the majority of parents seemed content to allow such devices to act as modern-day child minders.

“I saw it happening in front of my eyes,” she said. “Instead of bonding with the child, a parent gave a child, who was possibly two or three years old, a mobile phone just so the child would keep quiet.

“You will have to face the consequences at some point, and by then it may be too late.”

Azimah said apart from creating a rift between parent and child, the consequences would also include a lack of soft skills and an addiction to electronic devices.

“There are cases where the child is so addicted that you have to send the child to a psychiatrist because when the parent tries to take the device away, the child gets angry.

“But perhaps the most unfortunate of all is that you can no longer see any love between parent and child.”

Azimah said while she understood the importance of teaching today’s children to be tech-savvy, it was also important to strike a balance.

“There has to be a balance and the parent has to find that right balance through trial and error.”

Azimah’s comments come after the Suriana Welfare Society said parents who failed to monitor their children’s internet activities were committing a punishable offence.

Suriana executive director Scott Wong told FMT it was crucial that parents keep a strict watch over their children’s movements on the internet, saying it was unfortunate that many parents were still not serious about this.

Azimah agreed with Wong, saying only a small number of parents took the trouble to monitor their children’s internet activities.

“They trust that their children don’t do things they’re not supposed to, but the children do. Some parents refuse to believe their children actually surf porn.”

Below are some readers' comments related to the above article.

Richard Chooi ·
This is indeed a serious community problem, seeing the increased numbers of young children "burying" their heads at the handphone or tablet in the eating centres while their parents enjoying the food (besides scrolling their own phone often). It seems so "correct" to do so nowadays. So, how to "strike a balance" when the parents themselves are way out of balance as long as they have the phone in their hands?
Edward Kay ·
Too late. The parents themselves are hooked. You can see it at eateries especially. I've even seen the kids sitting quietly while the parents are engrossed. Games and social media will replace guns.
David Shanelukas Ksgan Will you stop complaining. Phones and tablets are invented for a good purpose turning humans into conditioned ANIMALS.
These zombies play with such toys like WALKINDG DEADS
On On...................Peep.....Peep

Steven Chung To many parents, this is a norm, not a problem. They even boast how good their children can play with the Electronic devices. It's like they know the pros & cons but choose the easy way.
Steven Ong ·
Does it need an expert to tell us that ? But like many who still dont want to believe that their neighbors and brothers are big thieves , many too will not care about it because they gain from it . Its a self centered society today .

Welcome to the CONSUMERIST Information and Services Society folks, as both parents and children are equally enslaved to making the phone manufacturers and cellular network operators rich from revenue and profits given them by these kia su tech-plebeians.

However, rather interestingly the late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, did not let his children use an iPad which his company created, whilst Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft did not let his children have a phone until they were 14 years old and he also believes that information technology tools should  be used specifically as possible where they will serve to educate students and not for entertainment.

So whilst these two captains of the information technology industry know the dangers and limitations of the products their companies produce for the mass market, however the billion of plebeians who buy and use their products are blissfully unaware or are too ignorant or lazy to care.

Welcome to the Information and Services Consumerist Society.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should've been a red flag, Business Insider

source Seth Wenig / Reuters

Psychologists are quickly learning how dangerous smartphones can be for teenage brains.

Research has found that an eighth-grader’s risk for depression jumps 27% when he or she frequently uses social media. Kids who use their phones for at least three hours a day are much more likely to be suicidal. And recent research has found the teen suicide rate in the US now eclipses the homicide rate, with smartphones as the driving force.

But the writing about smartphone risk may have been on the wall for roughly a decade, according to educators Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book “Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber.”

It should be telling, Clement and Miles argue, that the two biggest tech figures in recent history – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – seldom let their kids play with the very products they helped create.

“What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don’t?” the authors wrote. The answer, according to a growing body of evidence, is the addictive power of digital technology.

‘We limit how much technology our kids use at home’

In 2007, Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft, implemented a cap on screen time when his daughter started developing an unhealthy attachment to a video game. He also didn’t let his kids get cell phones until they turned 14. (Today, the average age for a child getting their first phone is 10.)

Jobs, who was the CEO of Apple until his death in 2012, revealed in a 2011 New York Times interview that he prohibited his kids from using the newly-released iPad. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs told reporter Nick Bilton.

In a recent interview on the online news channel Cheddar, iPod co-creator Tony Fadell speculated that if Steve Jobs were alive today, he’d want to address growing societal concerns about tech addiction. “He’d say, ‘Hey we need to do something about it,'” Fadell said.

Bill Gates wouldn't allow his children to have cell phones until they turned 14, fearing the effects of too much screen time.

caption: Bill Gates wouldn’t allow his children to have cell phones until they turned 14, fearing the effects of too much screen time.
source: Shutterstock Rex for EEM

In “Screen Schooled,” Clement and Miles make the case that wealthy Silicon Valley parents seem to grasp the addictive powers of smartphones, tablets, and computers more than the general public does – despite the fact that these parents often make a living by creating and investing in that technology.

“It’s interesting to think that in a modern public school, where kids are being required to use electronic devices like iPads,” the authors wrote, “Steve Jobs’s kids would be some of the only kids opted out.”

Jobs’ children have finished school, so it’s impossible to know how the late Apple cofounder would have responded to education technology, or “edtech.” But Clement and Miles suggest that if Jobs’ kids had attended the average US school today, they’d have used tech in the classroom far more than they did at home while growing up.

That’s at the average school at least, according to the coauthors. A number of specialty Silicon Valley schools, such as the Waldorf School, are noticeably low-tech. They use chalkboards and No. 2 pencils. Instead of learning how to code, kids are taught the soft skills of cooperation and respect. At Brightworks School, kids learn creativity by building things and attending classes in treehouses.

Edtech won’t be a ‘cure all’

If there is any concession Gates has made on technology, it’s in the benefits it offers students in certain educational settings. In the years since Gates implemented his household policy, the billionaire philanthropist has taken a keen interest in personalized education, an approach that uses electronic devices to help tailor lesson plans for each student.

In a recent blog post, Gates celebrated Summit Sierra, a Seattle-based school that takes students’ personal goals – like getting into a specific college – and devises a path to get there. Teachers in personalized learning settings take on more of a coaching role, helping to nudge students back on track when they get stuck or distracted.

Technology in these cases is being used as specifically as possible – and in ways Gates recognizes as useful for a student’s development, not as entertainment.

“Personalized learning won’t be a cure-all,” he wrote. But Gates said he’s “hopeful that this approach could help many more young people make the most of their talents.”

Then again I suppose we are in the Age of Decadence where hedonism, consumerism and obsession with celebrities, distraction by bread and circuses reign supreme.

Watch the YouTube video The 7 Signs Of An Empire In Decline

And this video which refers to historical cycles described by ancient Chinese and Hindu philosophies.
Historical Cycles: Are we doomed to repeat the past?

Whilst the above videos are about the United States and the west and that there is no "Malaysian Empire" as such, however what stage do you think Malaysia is in right now?

Yours truly


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