By John Ensor •
Published: 13 Nov 2023 • 16:01
Photo: Adolescents without mobiles.
In the Balearic Islands, a significant movement is gaining momentum among families, aimed at delaying the introduction of mobile phones into the lives of their children and adolescents.
This initiative, born from the concerns of two parents, Laura Moya and Xim Fuster, is resonating with many, as evidenced by the nearly 2,000 families who have joined through WhatsApp and Telegram groups, writes OK Diario.
In Mallorca, Laura and Xim, whose son is in his first year of Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO, between 12 and 16 years of age), were motivated to start the campaign called, ‘Adolescencia sense Mobil’ (Adolescence without Mobiles) when they realized their son was the only one in his class who didn’t have a mobile phone.
Their efforts are not just about resisting societal norms but also about raising awareness of the potential risks associated with early mobile phone usage among youngsters. The statistics are staggering and worrying.
Half of young people have received erotic images, 5 per cent have endured sextortion and 10 per cent have been propositioned sexually by an adult, which only goes to underline the urgency of the cause.
The pair express their thanks for the overwhelming support: ‘We are surprised by the great reception, we are no longer alone in this.’ They plan to organize face-to-face meetings with families to discuss the appropriate age for children to have their first mobile device.
One of the challenges highlighted is the social pressure parents face, often feeling compelled to conform to what others are doing. ‘Many families buy their child a mobile phone due to social pressure. They don’t want to be less than others and the pressure leads to that.’
The couple added: In this sense, we were alone in this, but we have realized that many parents think the same and we are no longer as alone as we thought.’
Laura and Xim also point to the lack of a unified standard in schools regarding mobile phone usage, suggesting that a basic set of rules could alleviate pressure on faculty and families alike. They advocate for the involvement of the Department of Education in establishing these guidelines.
The initiative’s ultimate goal is ambitious yet simple, in which they hope to see a majority of first-year ESO students in at least one centre without mobile phones. This, they believe, will only be possible through a collective effort to convince families and educational institutions to embrace a mobile-free environment.
Reinforcing their stance, they clarify their intent: ‘It’s not about scaring or creating social division, we just want people to stop and think and reflect.’
This movement, sparked by concern and driven by community, represents a significant shift in the approach to technology in education and child development, and seems to resonate deeply within the Mallorcan community.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
Children have shown how good they are, and just drawing the rest of civilization take their damned phones away!!!
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