A Ban on Smartphones for Kids

Tucker proposed banning smartphone use for kids by federal law. I don’t want to like this guy but he’s literally the only person in the public space who talks about things I find extremely important.

If a politician proposed this, I’d be voting for that politician irrespective of any other issue. Any other issue. He could proclaim Putin the emperor of the world for all I’d care.

And it’s not an extraordinary or unusual thing. There is a ban on kids smoking or drinking alcohol. Recently, a ban on vaping for kids started to get enforced. These bans work extremely well. When was the last time you saw a 6-year-old with a cigarette and a beer bottle, even in families where parents smoke and drink?

Tucker says that about a quarter of children under the age of six have smartphones. These are the children whose language skills, emotional coping skills, and sociability skills will be thwarted for life. They will be part of an underclass, socially engineered into this position by people who’d never do that to their own kids.

I recorded this segment and will keep rewatching it. My analyst does research on this, and the findings are absolutely horrific. I’m sure that this will go the way of smoking where everybody will suddenly realize it’s dangerous. But it will take time and do a ton of damage before then. I believe that this is the most important issue of our times.

30 thoughts on “A Ban on Smartphones for Kids”

  1. Did he mention PAUS?
    From 2017, in USA Today:
    We see smartphones everywhere. In school hallways, at the family dinner table and plugged in at the bedside table.

    But how young is too young to be constantly connected to the rest of the world through sleek apps, social media and video messaging?

    One Colorado man has decided that age 13 seems like a good cutoff.

    Tim Farnum is leading the charge on a proposed ballot initiative in Colorado that would be the first of its kind in the country. Farnum’s proposal would ban the sale of smartphones to children younger than 13, or more likely, to parents who intend to give the smartphone to kids in that age bracket.

    Farnum, a Denver-area anesthesiologist, is the founder of Parents Against Underage Smartphones, or PAUS, the nonprofit group pushing the proposal.

    The proposal would require retailers to submit reports to the state government verifying that they had inquired about who each sold smartphone was intended to be used by, and fine those that repeatedly sell phones to be used by young children and preteens.

    “Eventually kids are going to get phones and join the world, and I think we all know that, but little children, there’s just no good that comes from that,” he said.

    Farnum’s proposal is still a long ways off from becoming reality. Last month, PAUS got the go-ahead on its proposed ballot language from the Secretary of State and now can start work on gathering the nearly 300,000 signatures required to get on the ballot in November 2018.

    But already, the idea has ruffled feathers across the state….

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    1. That’s a step in the right direction. This should be treated 100% like smoking for kids when even adult use around small kids is ostracized and socially unacceptable.

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  2. Till what age does the rule against smartphones should apply in your eyes?

    In Israel, 6 year olds start going to school and having phone lets parents not to worry. Will buying a phone for school have serious negative effects? If so, the solution is old-fashioned phone w/o Internet, only capable of making and receiving calls?

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    1. “Will buying a phone for school have serious negative effects?”

      I think it’s specifically the texting/social network/game/camera toys that also work as (very poor) phones that are the problem. I remember when cell phones began becoming ubiquitous (I remember first becoming aware of that on a trip to Budapest where even homeless people seemed to have cellphones) people just used them to talk and occasionally a message or two. They didn’t consume people’s full attention for hours on end…

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      1. Flip phones, yes. N uses one. I’m sure they will be phased out soon to switch everybody to smartphones. But for now they do exist so if anybody really worried about safety, they’d get the kid one of those. It’s extremely cheap and doesn’t require you to buy a plan.

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  3. // My analyst does research on this, and the findings are absolutely horrific.

    May you write a bit more regarding the exact ages? Also, how is it different from watching TV?

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    1. The TV is not designed to give you a dopamine hit every 5 minutes. It’s designed to give you commercial breaks every 5 minutes which is not super attractive.

      You can’t carry the TV with you, it isn’t interactive, it doesn’t have your friends in it, it doesn’t offer social validation, TV is less control, less instant gratification. I can go until tomorrow with this list but I’ve got an appointment right now.

      This topic is a loser because parents are not ready and won’t listen. It will take time for this to sink in.

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      1. You watched TV when you were a kid. If there was a program you wanted to watch – let’s say that goodnight kid show at 8 pm, what did you do? You waited for the show to come on, right? That’s an important skill. Waiting, patience, delayed gratification. You couldn’t have your favorite show anywhere and any time you wanted. In the bathroom, at the table, in bed. Immediate gratification of every whim, the temptation of other better shows that are accessible everywhere and any time, that’s addictive and fosters impatience and short attention span. I recently read a study that young people find it extremely hard to read a whole book because they don’t have the attention span. I read a 400-page book in 2 days when I was 6. How many kids, gosh adults even, can do that any more? I can’t do that any more, and it’s not for the lack of time. I damaged my brain circuitry with this stupid smartphone and can’t do that any more. And I got a smartphone in my thirties.

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        1. One more thing: analyst says that studies show that smartphone kids arrive in school (at the age of 5) lagging behind non-smartphone kids by a whopping 18 months in verbal skills. Verbal skills at this age mean emotional coping skills and sociability skills, as well.

          Smartphone kids are not only those who use them but also those whose parents use smartphones in front of them (more than occasionally) and even simply parent while holding a smartphone in their hand, like many people do.

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    2. “May you write a bit more regarding the exact ages?”

      • The analyst says, “My sincere advice for you is do absolutely anything you have to do not to give her the screens for as long as you are raising her. If you can stick it out until 18, that’s amazing.” Once she’s an adult, there’s obviously nothing you can do. And people do get addicted in adulthood (like me). But the worst of the damage will be avoided.

      The general rule is the later the better. Do it like an AA addict, that is, one day at a time. What I do is, I’m not fanatical about it. If we are visiting somebody and the kids there are watching cartoons, I don’t drag her away. She can watch. I don’t want to create a forbidden fruit type of thing. But she has no idea for now what my phone can do other than make rare phone calls, give directions and show her grandma and grandpa on Skype. She will obviously find out eventually. But I’m so much fun, so filled with stories, games, and activities that I hope it will win out.

      When I wait for her during the dance lesson, there are often older siblings in the waiting room. These are kids between, I don’t know 5 and all the way up to 12. They all have devices and play video games on the devices. But!!! Every single one of them immediately puts down the device if I show any indication that I’m willing to talk to them. You should see the eagerness on their little faces. I don’t always have the energy because I’m saving it for my own kid. But analyst confirms that until they reach puberty, they will absolutely choose talking to or playing with an adult over the device. It’s very hard to parent this way. I tell so many stories every day, my tongue is raw and my brain hurts. I run, I dance, I sing, I draw. The amount of energy a toddler has is insane. There is no sibling, so it’s all on me, all the time. But there is no other way.

      You will be so sorry you ever asked because this is one of my favorite obsessive topics. 🙂

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      1. // You will be so sorry you ever asked because this is one of my favorite obsessive topics.

        Thanks for the extended answer. 🙂 It is interesting.

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            1. That’s absolutely the only reason I’m considering a private school. Please believe me that I’m not eager to pay $30K a year to have her hang out with an all-white crowd of rich kids. That’s something I hate. It goes contrary to everything I am. But the only school I found in the region that has a strict no-tech policy in the classroom, long recess, a lot of physical activity outside, and nature walks is this expensive private school. And I hate private schools and what they stand for.

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  4. They will be part of an underclass

    I’m more worried about them growing up to be the same kind of intolerable jerks who these days spend all their time participating or fomenting social media mobs over ridiculous pseudo-offenses.

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  5. Alright, I’m gonna start watching Tucker Carlson. Glad to see Fox News has all the episodes online, not that I’m gonna have time to watch an episode every day.

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  6. Republican controlled Senate votes on a resolution saying we shouldn’t pull out of Afghanistan and Syria. Majority of yes votes are Republicans, almost all no votes are Democrats. Idiot liberals still celebrating this because “take that, Drumpf!”

    You and I have different views on trans issues, but I think we’ll both like this article. I deeply appreciate that the writer separates the current trans movement from trans people in general, as I think the majority of trans people have at least some misgivings about it.

    https://quillette.com/2019/01/31/homophobia-and-the-modern-trans-movement/

    Purdue Pharma was interested in getting in on the opioid treatment market, making money off treating the addiction which they created in the first place.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/oxycontin-purdue-pharma-massachusetts-lawsuit-anti-addiction-market

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    1. How do we differ on trans rights? I’m for laws banning housing and job discrimination and free medical care of their choosing for trans people. I’m against police persecution or online banning for things like “deadnaming,” although I wouldn’t personally do it. I’m against “pronouns he, him, his” in email signatures because it’s vapid posturing. And I’m against surgery or hormones for underage people. I’m also against labeling children as trans because they “act gay” or don’t conform to gender stereotypes. Let them grow up and figure out if they are trans, gay, or simply not very stereotypical.

      Which part do you differ on?

      I’m asking out of curiosity. I don’t mind disagreement.

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      1. What a great article on trans. I agree with this guy completely. My whole life I’ve been told I’m not “like a girl.” I don’t think like a girl, I don’t act like a girl. I learned to overcompensate with big hair, makeup, girly girl clothes, etc. There are so many kids like me. What they need is not to be medicated but to be told that there’s a million ways of being a girl or a boy and they are all good. Then when they grow up and discover they are trans, they need to be protected from discrimination and lef alone to live as they want. That’s what I believe but it’s currently a heresy.

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      2. I don’t think we differ much on trans rights, or on trans issues when it comes to any practical, tangible things like what you mention. The only thing on your list I’m different on is that I’m not 100% opposed to minors being on hormones, though the crazier this world gets the more misgivings I have. For now, I just advise extreme caution and a minimum age of 16 for cross-sex hormones, and I fully understand where people wholly against childhood transition are coming from. I have more in common with them than with people who think a 3 year old can know they’re trans.

        Our differences are more ideological. I get a sense from you that while you believe trans people should have a right to transition and you’ll respect their name and pronoun choices, they’ll always “really” be the sex they were born as, while I have the more typical liberal “trans women are women, trans men are men” opinion. Also, it seems to me that once someone has physically transitioned, they are not still biologically their birth sex. I suppose they’re somewhere in between, but I’m going to go ahead and “round up.” I could give logical explanations involving hormone levels, primary and secondary sex characteristics, etc. But putting that aside, on a gut level, I just think it seems ridiculous to say that a person who looks like this (https://stonewallcolumbus.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/buck-angel.jpg) is “biologically female.” When it comes down to it, I’ve met trans men and I’m attracted to them in the same way I am to any other men (if they’re attractive), though I’m not sure how sex would work out.

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        1. Thank you, this is a really interesting response. I can gladly accept and respect anybody’s choice of how to identify. But I resent any attempt to police whether I believe these identifications as actual truth. It’s got to be enough that I support the rights and the legal protections for trans people. If it’s not enough and I have to make professions of faith, that’s when I lose interest.

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          1. Considering the issues the trans community faces at this point in time and the general social attitude towards it, I don’t think it’s a good use of time or energy to worry about what’s in people’s heads. Maybe I’ll worry about it when open, virulent transphobia becomes rare and there aren’t staggeringly high rates of poverty, addiction, murder, etc. In the meantime I’ll just disagree and move on. Even if I think someone’s opinion is dumb or wrong, yelling at someone won’t change their mind, won’t help anyone, and actively harms the trans movement. I’ve seen a number of liberal people grow less trans friendly in recent years and I think it’s because of nutjob “activists.”

            The thought policing approach isn’t working out very well for other movements either (ex. people fretting about implicit bias, which is real but what can you do about it?) And those are issues which America has been engaging with for a long time. Until very recently most people had only seen transgenderism on Jerry Springer, it’s unreasonable to expect everyone to be on board immediately with no discussion involved, but I see that attitude a lot. For gay issues there was a whole national discussion and it took a while for people to wrap their heads around it, that’s just how these things go.

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