Best Argument: Slaves
Audience Favored: Slaves (83%)
Kids know what they’re doing
Matt Baxter-Reynolds: Issues have always been created by the fact that children grow up in a world separated by a huge ocean of time from that of their parents.
My dad grew up in the 1940s. I grew up in the 1970s. The sociological changes over that period, over any period for any generation are always going to be profound.
There’s a word I like for kids of the current generation: “screenagers”. It always seems that those whippersnappers are always staring into computer, tablet, and smartphone screens.
That causes consternations for parents who don’t see that it’s just a sociological shift. Screenagers use their smartphones and other compute devices to be social in a way that parents who experienced childhood prior to that technology being available don’t readily understand.
But post-PC technology like smartphones are purely relationship-centric. They don’t work or make any sense without the underlying relationships. So don’t worry, old fogey parents (like me), your kids know what they’re doing. They’re just being differently social.
Being 'connected' is taking over
Charlie Osborne: Children are slaves to their smartphones because we've made them so. Mobile devices offer an extension to social groups through texting, email and, more recently, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This is in itself not a bad thing -- the Internet can bring us closer together and offers a plethora of opportunities later on in life for work and study. However, as mobile adoption is encouraged by parents early on -- whether to give families a way to contact each other in emergencies or simply to keep children entertained -- addiction and reliance can be introduced early on.
It is often difficult to pry children away from their gadgets -- whether in the classroom, when out for a meal or in social situations. These sort of behaviors, replicated by others around them including parents, can run the risk of the next generation lacking in necessary social skills.
Smartphones are meant to be a supplement to our lives -- but now being "connected" takes over.