India needs to manage youth access to electronic devices

A recent survey indicates nearly 82 percent of kids in India's metropolitan cities, aged 5 to 12, have electronic devices and this is leading to negative consequences like insomnia and social isolation. Who's to blame?

Nearly 82 percent of kids living in India's metropolitan cities, aged 5 to 12, have electronic devices and this is leading to negative consequences such as depression, insomnia, and social isolation, indicates a survey.

The study was conducted in 10 major metropolitan cities across India, polling 2,500 tech-savvy boys and girls. In addition to having access to computers, internet, and home entertainment systems at home, about 25 percent of these kids admitted their use of electronic devices was also effecting their quality of sleep, reported The Times of India.

Does a 5-year-old kid really need a mobile phone?

That's an obvious conclusion, in my view. While I don't disagree that giving a mobile phone to someone as young as five is necessarily a bad idea, in reality, why does a child that young need a mobile phone? Do kids that age young really call or text each other instead of playing on the street? 

But, walk down the streets of Delhi today and you’ll see young kids with mobile devices, usually playing music, video games, or unfortunately, viewing adult content. And if you ask me, in light of the tragic Delhi rape that unfolded in December 2012 leading to death sentences for the accused last week, young children and even teenagers need to be disciplined regarding their use of electronic devices.

However, this is not that easy to enforce. There are so many ways to hide files in devices, either in internal memory or external card, and then swap them. Every generation has their own way of hiding what they want on the technology provided. The sad reality is that not only are parents oblivious to what's going on, children can easily go to a local bazaar or market and easily purchase preloaded data cards with adult content.

What makes the situation worse is that while officials are well aware of these practice, but simply turn a blind eye.

If India really wants to make progressive change toward respecting women, it has to start from within and at an early age. Children and youth should be made aware and encouraged to use the various personal safety apps currently available on many devices and platforms.

Furthermore, while this has always been an issue in India and will most likely continue to be one for years to come, the general public needs to be made more aware of both the negative effects of content piracy and of course, illegally viewing adult content.

If the Indian government can come down hard on people using social media as platform to instigate demonstrations or riots, then why can't they come down hard on people creating and distributing adult content? The reality is that it is simply one of those taboo subjects in India that people simply don't want to discuss, but are fully aware is a growing issue among the youth.