Having the world at our fingertips through the latest technology is neat and all but according to Suavine Ta’ape, from the village of Faleula, there are negative impacts to it.
Aged 55, Suavine says that technological advances are great but there is a grey area that we really need to look into as parents.
The father’s only worry is the exposure children get through the latest devices coming into Samoa.
“Technology is moving very fast and we parents need to really look into the issues that come with it,” Suavine told the Village Voice.
“For me personally, technology isn’t a bad thing but the phones that are coming out lately are very advanced and you can do pretty much anything with them; which is worrying to us as parents.
“I mean, phones are good if they are used properly but young children are seen using these devices too. They spend so much time on the devices when they are supposed to be productive in the family.”
According to Suavine, the children seem to be hypnotized by their phones. They are seen using the devices from the moment they wake up, till they close their eyes to sleep.
“Children wake up and go straight to their phones and when they sleep, the last thing they hold is the phone,” he said.
“That leaves no time for them to listen to their parents on what needs to be done around the house. They are holding their phones right when they wake up as if it has become their priority.
“Wherever the phone goes, they go too. Even if the phone is plugged into the wall, they sit near the wall and use the phones. No time is spent doing chores.
Then when they actually get up to do their chores, the phone is in their hands.”
With reports of suicides stemming from wrongful use of technology, Suavine says it’s hard not to worry.
“I have heard many stories about some youth suicides starting off from the way they use their phones,” he said.
“They go on social media and are exposed to many things. The problem here is that parents give permission to young people to have a phone and they leave them to do as they wish with it.
“It’s a very sad thing seeing how this is taking over the lives of the youth.”
And as parents, the worried father says that all parents should take this seriously and try to shield their children from what they are exposed to.
“It’s the duty of the parent to try and limit the use of these devices so nothing bad comes of them,” he said.
“Once the parents become too lazy to teach the child right from wrong when it comes to technology, then that when problems arise. We forget that with these new phones, children have the world at their fingertips.
“I think that young children shouldn’t be allowed to own these phones.”