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Steve Jobs & the impact of social media on young people

Steve Jobs – the Universal Studios biopic that is scheduled to be released in the UK this week – looks to be a fascinating film and one that we’re looking forward to watching.
The most interesting aspect might not be the movie itself, however, but rather an enlightening interview that Kate Winslet, who stars alongside Michael Fassbender, gave to The Sunday Times during the Hollywood studio’s recent promotional campaign.
In it, Winslet touched on several subjects that are close to our hearts here at CPUK, including modern parenting, the impact social media is having on our children and our increasing reliance on tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices.
You might recall that such subjects have been tackled on our blog in recent times . . .
It surprised us to discover that we have a great deal in common with such a famous film star.
Our concern that social media can do great damage. That parents don’t always realise the things their children can be exposed to online. That families have stopped talking to one another. That traditional pastimes – board games, I-Spy, climbing trees and the like – and their developmental benefits have fallen by the wayside. That control is being lost . . .
These (and innumerable others) are all shared concerns.
‘You go to a cafe and the grown-ups are at one end of the table and the children are at the other, on devices, not looking up,’ Winslet told The Sunday Times. ‘[Children] go into a world and the parents just let them. I’m going to get slagged off for saying this but it takes every member of a family to be a family. There are too many distractions these days and [electronic] devices are a huge distraction. If we go to the pub [as a family] we take paper and pens’.
Like us, Winslet recognises the immense benefits that technology offers our children but, and on this point we couldn’t agree more, she is adamant that rules be made (and stuck to).
‘[The iPad] is an incredibly-powerful educational resource if used correctly,’ she said. ‘But I think it’s not being used correctly . . . it’s being completely abused. [Parents should take iPads] out of their children’s hands. Don’t let them sleep with it. [Some] people practically kiss [their iPads] goodnight. Do drawing games. Play Monopoly. Let your kids climb trees. It’s not rocket science.’

Here at CPUK, this is a message that we’ve been working hard to get across for quite some time. Given her celebrity, Winslet’s words will carry more weight than our own. It’s important that parents, famous or otherwise, grasp a concept that has great significance for all our children.
‘I think parents are losing control,’ she added. ‘Especially if they’re busy parents. It’s really hard to keep your finger on the pulse, but you have to stay in touch with your kids. It’s as simple as that. When they go up to their rooms for an hour to do whatever they’re doing, know what they’re doing and put parental controls in place’.
Here at CPUK, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

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