www. O S N E W S .com
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
I used Apple's new controls to limit a teenager's iPhone time
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-07-11 23:21:00

I, for one, probably have a problem with compulsively picking up my phone. So when Apple announced new software to help people restrict the amount of time they spend on iPhones, I knew I had to test it on myself. I also wanted to try it on a "screenager", a teenager who is addicted to screens - exactly the kind of person generating so much concern.

Just one problem: I don't have a child, so I needed to borrow one. Fortunately, my editor gleefully volunteered her 14-year-old, Sophie, to be a test subject. So last month, I lent Sophie an iPhone X loaded with an unfinished version of iOS 12, Apple's new operating system, that included the Screen Time feature, which is set for release this fall. We set up the account so that I was a parent, with the ability to set limits, and she was my child.

Modern technologies like smartphones and tablets really pose a new kind of problem for parents, and parents today are only just now finding out how to deal with these.

Since I happen to be remarkably aware of the harsh way parents tend to judge each other when it comes to how to raise children, I just want to point out that there really is no one true way to manage how children use these technologies, and on top of that, not every child is the same. And, of course, a child growing up in The Netherlands is not the same as that same hypothetical child growing up in Arco, Montana. In short, there's tons of variables here, so for the parents among us - for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged and all that.

 Email a friend - Printer friendly - Related stories
.
Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-11
.
Diligence is needed
By drcoldfoot on 2018-07-12 00:20:50
It seems as though in order to protect your children, you would need to add systems engineer to the docket of roles a parent must play. I purchased an ipad miini for my daughter a few years ago, and noticed that she was tied to her device almost exclusvely and distancing herself more and more from family activities and interactions with the rest of the family. So after some thought, I set up parental controls on her device and limited her apps to educational apps 24/7 timewise, and relegated games, communication, and social media to small windows, preferably after homeworkand dinner, holidays, and weekends, All this while playing the role of a sterotypical dumb, out of touch parent who doesn't know how to deal with modern tech. All while having her device's internet access guarded by a UTM solution at home. But since my wife decided to separate and take the kids, I'm enjoying my newfound freedom, retirement, and no more responsibility. It's her problem now. And I seriously doubt she has the skill or patience to deal with it.
All in all, it's doable, provided you have the patience, forethought, tenacity, diligence, and in som e cases money.
Permalink - Score: 3
.
Not for me
By spinnekopje on 2018-07-12 08:19:47
We don't need those controls, although there are 2 kids here. I must admit they are still young (the oldest is 5 now), but when I hear other parents at school it could be useful for many kids.
Why it is nothing for us? simple: the total amount of screentime for our kids combined while under our own supervision must be in the order of about 10 minutes this year. I do not know what they do at school, but there are no devices in the classrooms themselves.
They play outside, they make drawings, use their imagination, use things in ways I have never imagined (since I grew up) and many other stuff. They almost never ask to use a tablet/smartphone, although we have multiple devices laying around in the house.
One thing is clear: with the 10 minutes my daughter shows she knows how to use the touchscreen, including swiping.
I don't know what it will do in the future, but there are a couple of clear rules for ourselves already, so they will need to follow those once the decide to spend some of their own money on digital devices.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
Back in the olden days
By unclefester on 2018-07-12 11:47:39
Back in the late 70s In had]a friend. Every day after school he did 2 hours sport, two hours of music practice and 2 hous homework. He held a nationaljunior athletic record, was highly proficient on two instruments and won a University Medal in engineering. He literally got an extra six hours a day by not watching TV.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE: Back in the olden days
By Fergy on 2018-07-12 16:40:36
> Back in the late 70s In had]a friend. Every day after school he did 2 hours sport, two hours of music practice and 2 hous homework. He held a nationaljunior athletic record, was highly proficient on two instruments and won a University Medal in engineering. He literally got an extra six hours a day by not watching TV.
I hope he enjoyed doing sports and music practice. Some people don't like that stuff and do other things to enjoy themselves.
Permalink - Score: 4
.
RE: Not for me
By ameasures on 2018-07-12 18:48:09
> I don't know what it will do in the future, but there are a couple of clear rules for ourselves already, so they will need to follow those once the decide to spend some of their own money on digital devices.

As a parent of teens, the addictive games will become popular among their peers and then you are under pressure and fighting a rearguard action before you realize what has happened.

Seriously institute draconian controls now as normal and ease them gradually as your wisdom increases.

The alternative is that the parents with no controls are seen as "normal" and the kids feel entitled to run the household. At which point you (parents) feel as though you are a gaming support system to louts you barely recognize.

It is a bit like riding a horse: if you don't know who is in charge then ... it ain't you!
Permalink - Score: 3
.
RE[2]: Back in the olden days
By Underphil on 2018-07-12 20:36:13
> I hope he enjoyed doing sports and music practice. Some people don't like that stuff and do other things to enjoy themselves.

Yep. I wouldn't trade my childhood for the situation the parent commenter described.

Like Thom said, everyone seems to beat each other with their yardsticks for what is 'right' or 'successful'. Proof right here.
Permalink - Score: 3
.
There is no Arco, MT
By Kancept on 2018-07-12 20:43:31
As someone who lived in Montana, and currently lives in Idaho, I'd like to point out there is no Arco, Montana. There is an Arco, Idaho, the first town powered by nuclear energy. I've been there plenty of times and even got a speeding ticket for doing 21mph in a 20mph zone.

Edited 2018-07-12 20:44 UTC
Permalink - Score: 3
.
RE: There is no Arco, MT
By Thom_Holwerda on 2018-07-12 21:06:09
> As someone who lived in Montana, and currently lives in Idaho, I'd like to point out there is no Arco, Montana. There is an Arco, Idaho, the first town powered by nuclear energy. I've been there plenty of times and even got a speeding ticket for doing 21mph in a 20mph zone.

Was wondering if someone was gonna pick up on this.
Permalink - Score: 3
.
just no
By bamdad on 2018-07-13 05:45:04
parental controls are at best a symptomatic treatment, at worst the dystopian dream of a control freak. being lost in your phone, laptop or anything else, even non-technical stuff, is a warning sign that someone (child, teenager or adult) has deeper issues with their inner priorities, not something that can be fixed by arbitrary limitations. calling this protection is outright hypocrisy.

same crap that governments do these days. we don't understand something and don't even want to spend resources and effort investigating? just impose random regulations or ban it outright - no need to see the bigger picture.. it's to protect 'normal' citizens. think of the children! our way of life!
Permalink - Score: 1
.
RE: Back in the olden days
By zima on 2018-07-13 19:13:10
> He literally got an extra six hours a day by not watching TV.
I suppose we'd gain maybe around an hour or so daily if we stopped following OSNews... :P
Permalink - Score: 4

Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-11

No new comments are allowed for stories older than 10 days.
This story is now archived.

.
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
WAP site - RSS feed
© OSNews LLC 1997-2007. All Rights Reserved.
The readers' comments are owned and a responsibility of whoever posted them.
Prefer the desktop version of OSNews?