Social media expert Emma Sadleir says that children under 14 years are far too young to be exposed to smartphones and some of the content available online.
Children get exposed to cyberbullying, sexting, access to inappropriate websites and the growing threat of predators which they are not old enough to be able to deal with, says Sadlier.
She says that parents should be concerned with what their children do on their phones and adds that not knowing how to navigate certain apps is tantamount to negligence.
Parents really need to educate themselves. They need to know what their children are up to on their phones and they need to have passwords.— Emma Sadlier, social media expert
I think it is actually negligent if your child is on Snapchat and you don't know how Snapchat works because there are a lot of tools out there.— Emma Sadlier, social media expert
Sadlier says parents should not let their children sleep with their cell phones because they are bound to use them.
She says teachers complain that children arrive at school exhausted because they don't sleep enough.
Sadlier gives tips on how to protect children against the cruel world of technology:
- Do not give personal information to people you meet in chatrooms
- Do not give your real name and address
- Do not accept the people for who they say they are
- Be cynical and sceptical when online.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Emma Sadlier, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : When's the right time to get your child a smartphone?