Monday February 24, 2020
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Let Your Kid Watch TV Than Make Lewd TikTok Videos on Smartphone

The World Health Organization recommends that sedentary screen time should be no more than one hour for children between ages 1 and 5

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Television, Social Media, Reality
Toggling between watching television and social media lessens a person's ability to escape reality. Pixabay

By Bharat Upadhyay

When 11-year-old Pallavi (name changed on request) was gifted a smartphone on her birthday in April this year, a big smile greeted her parents who decided to bid good bye to the TV set three years ago hoping their daughter would spend more time with some creative stuff around.

With high-speed Wi-Fi, she got access to a digital world on the smartphone into which her peer group had already taken a deep dive.

Part of an upscale society in Noida, everything was OK initially as Pallavi had exposure to YouTube videos and some downloaded games — amid requests to have an Instagram account that were politely denied by her parents till she turns 13.

One day, out of curiosity, Pallavi’s mother went through her smartphone as she was away to school. To her shock, there were short videos made on Chinese apps like Likee by Pallavi and her friends during visits to one another’s house – some even made in the society’s parking basement.

The “suggestive” videos with explicit hand gestures amid dance steps were enough to make Pallavi’s mother realise the mistake she had made.

“With TV in the living room, we had control over the content. She normally saw movies which we also watched together. Even Internet TV on a big screen can be monitored but smartphone has really been a bad choice,” Pallavi’s mother, who has now taken the smartphone away and bought a new TV set, told IANS.

According to behavioural experts, if you are one of those parents who has handed over a smartphone or a tablet to your kids to keep them entertained, convince your kids to watch the old idiot box instead.

“Though there are a number of educational apps and games which children can play on smartphones, it is not always easy to monitor your child’s smartphone usage,” said Meenal Arora, Founder Director, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools, Delhi.

“There is an option of deleting the history or going incognito, thus making it difficult for parents to know what their child was doing on the smartphone for the last hour or so,” Arora told IANS.

According to Arora who is also a parenting expert, television is a comparatively safer option than smartphones.

TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

A new report from mobile app intelligence firm Sensor Tower found that out of the 18.8 crore new users that the Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok added globally in the first quarter of 2019, 8.86 crore were from India.

“Children don’t understand how using an excess of social media and the Internet and playing video games like PUBG can harmfully affect their eyesight, social habits and can lead to insomnia, laziness or even lack of concentration and anxiety,” Mrinmay Kumar Das, Senior Consultant at Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

Kids who get a hang of such short-video making apps not only get hooked to them instantly but also face the risk of being exposed to or involved in dangerous and sexually explicit content that could make them victims of cyber crimes.

According to Pallavi Joshi, Clinical Psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in Delhi, video games like PUBG and social media apps like TikTok, Likee, Vigo Video and others can be intellectually harmful for kids and can invoke violent tendencies inside their developing minds.

Experts suggest that children should have limitations while using all sorts of apps.

“They get so mentally involved in these games and social media apps that after a point, they lose self-control and undergo a change in behaviour, which can ultimately bring a negative impact on their personalities as a whole,” Neha Dutt, Psychologist at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, told IANS.

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This is not to say that unlimited TV sessions are good for children. Parents must remember that children need to sit less and play more to grow up healthy and put reasonable limits on screen time, including TV sessions.

The World Health Organization recommends that sedentary screen time should be no more than one hour for children between ages 1 and 5.

But when it comes to a choice between smartphone and TV, the age-old habit of watching TV together could serve children better than closed-door smartphone viewing. (IANS)

Next Story

Working with Stakeholder to Have Better Internet: TikTok

TikTok is working with civil society, industry for better Internet

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TikTok
TikTok said it is looking forward to continuously working with all stakeholders, be it the government, industry, academia and civil society, to achieve the common goal of having a better Internet. VOA

Popular short video-making platform TikTok on Monday said it is looking forward to continuously working with all stakeholders, be it the government, industry, academia and civil society, to achieve the common goal of having a better Internet.

“As Internet penetration continues to grow at a rapid pace across India, there is a need to sensitise and educate people about responsible online behaviour for their own safety,” Subi Chaturvedi, Head – TikTok For Good, said at an event here ahead of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday.

The Madras High Court last year even issued an interim order to the Central government banning downloading of the app in India and restricted the media from telecasting videos taken using the app. The ban was subsequently lifted.

TikTok boasts of about 200 million users in India.

TikTok
The Madras High Court last year even issued an interim order to the Central government banning downloading TikTok app in India. Pixabay

Participating at the event themed “Together for a Safer and Better Internet”, MyGov CEO Abhishek Singh stressed on the need for coordinated efforts by all stakeholders to create awareness about online safety.

“Only laws will not be enough. This will require joint efforts by the industry, civil society and together it can be achieved. Awareness creation is necessary amongst stakeholders,” Singh said at the event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and supported by UN Women and TikTok.

Singh said that the government is taking a series of steps to ensure that government digital systems are safe and secure.

“This would require building secure systems, ensuring right audits are done, and public data handling systems are made as secure as possible,” he added.

The government has already launched the “Cyber Surakshit Bharat Scheme” to impart training to officials.

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“Under this programme, almost 600 government officials are already trained and there is a plan of training another 600 officials to ensure all government departments wherever their services are being offered are handled in a much safer and better way,” Singh said.

“An online course for training 1,000 police personnel in cyber law and cyber forensics is being launched in partnership with NLIU (National Law Institute University) Bhopal,” he added. (IANS)