Thursday July 18, 2019
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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

Facebook Preparing Launch of Serious Competitor to Short Video-Sharing App TikTok

Announced last week, Facebook's NPE team is aimed at developing experimental apps for consumers who are still slightly removed

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Facebook, TikTok, Video
With Facebook roping in former Google employee Jason Toff for a key portfolio, speculation is rife about the social networking giant preparing the launch of a serious competitor. Pixabay

With Facebook roping in former Google employee Jason Toff for a key portfolio, speculation is rife about the social networking giant preparing the launch of a serious competitor to the short video-sharing app TikTok.

Toff, who earlier served as the General Manager for Twitter’s short-video sharing service Vine, has joined as Facebook’s Product Management Director to lead the company’s recently formed New Product Experimentation (NPE) team.

“I suppose it’s a good time to share what I’m up to next! In two weeks, I’ll be joining Facebook as a PM Director starting up a new initiative under the recently formed NPE team,” Toff announced on Twitter on Monday.

Announced last week, Facebook’s NPE team is aimed at developing experimental apps for consumers who are still slightly removed from the core Facebook brand.

Facebook, TikTok, Video

Toff, who earlier served as the General Manager for Twitter’s short-video sharing service Vine, has joined as Facebook’s Product Management Director. Pixabay

In Google, Toff worked on Virtual Reality (VR) projects as well as on Google’s in-house Area 120 incubator — which is similar in concept to Facebook’s NPE team, The Verge reported.

While Toff said he could not reveal details of what he is working on, his Twitter post mentioned he is looking to hire a team of UX designers and engineers to work on the project.

The world’s largest social media platform last week announced that it will begin to launch new consumer-focused apps under the developer name “NPE Team, from Facebook.”

“NPE Team apps will be aligned with Facebook’s mission of giving people the power to build community but will focus on shipping entirely new experiences. We decided to use this separate brand name to help set the appropriate expectations with users that NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people,” Facebook said.

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Owned by Beijing-based start-up ByteDance, TikTok saw its first-time installs grow about 28 per cent year-over-year for the first half of 2019 to nearly 344 million worldwide despite a two-week ban in India during Q2, revealed an estimate by mobile app intelligence firm Sensor Tower. (IANS)