Teens Require the Latests High-Tech Gadgets to Function Socially: Bittman

Are parents derelict in their duties if they refuse to buy their children the latest gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, game consoles and i-pods?

Absolutely not!

On the contrary, it can be argued that any parent that buys those items when they can’t afford to, is derelict in their duties:

IT was dubbed the “digital divide” – the gap between the haves and the have nots in the computer age.

But far from missing out on the electronic essentials of modern life, new research shows children from poorer families are keeping up with wealthier counterparts.

High-tech ownership is consistent across all income levels, research by insurer GIO reveals, with the average teen owning $1882.06 worth of equipment.

And tech-savvy teens are much more likely to own computer equipment than sports gear or a musical instrument.

About 42 per cent of kids own a laptop, while half own mobile phones and more than three in five own an MP3 music player such as an iPod. But less than a third of kids own sporting equipment or a musical instrument.

Sociology expert Dr Michael Bittman said most of the devices were essential for teens to function socially.

I disagree vehemently with Dr. Bittman. Teens do not need the latest devices, they need to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. They need to respect the volatile nature of the economy and the hardships their parents face in ensuring that they have the necessities.

Teens would be best advised to worry less about their social standing and more about how they could contribute to their family, rather than run their family budget dry.


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2 Responses to “Teens Require the Latests High-Tech Gadgets to Function Socially: Bittman”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    “…..most of the devices were essential for teens to function socially.”

    Essential? I would question this. Social functioning has to do with relationships with other people. Mobile phones and i-pods etc may be useful but I would consider them hardly essential.

    This is merely a symptom of our age where symbolism is everything but the substance of that which is symbolised counts for nothing.

    People tend to enter relationships for what they can get out of them more than for what they can contribute. It is all part of living in the age of consumption. Things are being used up at an increasing rate. The same is true of relationships.

    By today’s standards I grew up in poverty. As a child, however, I always had enough to eat, a bed to sleep in and friends to play with. We couldn’t afford a lot of things. We walked most places. I can remember walking to school. I walked to the beach, 5 miles away. I walked miles to visit friends. We amused ourselves outside. We climbed trees and mountains, swam lakes and rivers, caught fish and ate them for lunch and explored rainforest covered islands. We made canoes out of used sheets of corrugated iron and paddled about in them. We had nothing, but we had everything.

  2. testingpearson Says:

    In many cases iPads and iPhones have completely replaced books. Talk about sensory overload!

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