By Colleen Wong
The Gator watch does not have games, social media, videos or the internet. Some parents wonder if their child will get bored quickly of their Gator watch and not use it and therefore get them a smartphone instead.
I see boredom as a good thing and so I guess my response to the question is that if they are bored, perhaps they will find other things to do to make life more fun. We hope these ‘things’ will be playing sports, painting and creating stuff with their friends or simply just spending time talking to family or even daydreaming. A great article from the World Economic Forum discusses the importance of boredom in both kids and adults.
We have all seen the articles that screen time for children must be limited. Even adults are finding ways to limit their own screen time as the addiction is keeping us away from normal human interaction. In this crazy digital world we live in, it really won’t be long before we turn into the fictitious world that Charlie Brooker depicts so well in Black Mirror, First Episode of Season 3 on Netflix. Watch it. It made me feel ill. It seems like a sick world but it will be one in which we live if we don’t start to make some changes to our digital addiction. And it’s not just the addiction. It is the use of a digital device to access a world of strangers to validate every part of our life. So this is why I think it is more important than ever to not succumb to our children’s boredom by giving them their own screen at an early age. It is hard enough for adults to deal with all those digital demons. I started my business and the Gator watch so we can let kids be kids for longer. They do grow up too fast so let’s not give them a catalyst to grow up even faster.
Some screen time is inevitable but I strongly believe that we do not need to give our young children their own smartphones. 25% of young children (8-11) own smartphones and this number increases every year. Let our young kids be imaginative and to tackle boredom without a screen. No smartphones before Secondary School.