A Bitter Pill: The Effects Of Giving Your Children Tablets & Smartphones

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It’s a common part of society now, everyone has their smartphone glued to their hands, and people would rather flick of their finger back and forth on a small screen rather than engage the person next to them in conversation. But the biggest place where it’s having an impact is at home with your family, and, more specifically, your children. A lot of young children are already addicted to tablets. And it seems that by the age of two, most children already know how to use a smartphone or a tablet, so is this a little premature? But also what are the negative effects of your child having a smartphone or a tablet at such a young age?

 

It Becomes Their First Addiction

As we all know, it’s very difficult for us to put down or smartphone for any lengthy period of time anymore. Think about this in terms of an infant, where between the ages of 0 and 2 years old, their brain will triple in size. And if their brain space is taken up by an allegiance to this electronic device, not only do they become addicted to it, but it also doesn’t teach them how to control their impulses or to even challenge themselves, both of which are traits of an addictive personality.

 

Your Relationship With Your Child Can Be Fractured

If the tablet becomes their priority, this gets in the way of any young child developing proper personal bonds, which means they will struggle to utilize their emotions, and they will struggle to form bonds with other people down the years. In addition to this, any time you take away their tablet or smartphone, it will result in temper tantrums, which aren’t pleasant to deal with. We tend to think that we are keeping them quiet for 5 minutes by giving them a tablet. However this kind of behavior will self-perpetuate itself, and you may find that you have got into a desperate cycle of pacifying your child with a tablet for an excessive amount of time.

 

The Health And Safety Concerns

It has been widely spoken off that if you go to bed with your smartphone, it will suppress your melatonin, known as the sleep hormone, and therefore it becomes a struggle to have and maintain good quality sleep. Couple this with the all too real concern of mobile phones and tablets catching fire, this is something for every parent to be concerned about. If, heaven forbid, your child fell asleep with their tablet under their pillow, and it caught fire that would be a terrible thing to endure as a parent. There may be some sense of redemption in hiring accident lawyers to fight for a product liability claim, but this would be low on your list of priorities if your child were severely hurt by their tablet. We all think nothing of plugging in our phones to charge at night, but this is the time when you are most at risk.

 

It’s Incredibly Distracting

Children growing up with a smartphone are being distracted in many ways. It is argued that these devices can have an impact on the hands on approach to completing tasks. So, for children in school who are solely relying on their tablet or smartphone, their sensorimotor or visual motor skills may be very underdeveloped. By being distracted by their phones, there’s a high chance that they are not being as creative or imaginative as the average child used to be. In fact, with the wealth of information at your fingertips now, it means that there is less engaging with the brain, and the ability to recall information is not used as much as it used to. A good example is that instead of trying to remember a fact for the purposes of debate, they can simply look up the information. This can be argued as a good thing in one respect, but on the other side of the equation, this means that everyone, not just children, are not using their brain the way it was meant to be used.

 

It’s Stopping Interaction

This is all too obvious to everyone, but if we as adults are not interacting with people more, how is this affecting our children? And if you think back to the playground in school, you actually played; you didn’t sit in the corner on your phone. This lack of interaction and engagement with other people is showing in the increase in obesity in our children, but it’s also a critical signpost of how future generations may be ill-equipped to deal with basic human emotional processes.

 

You may have already given your children that smartphone or tablet, but with these, and many other dangerous symptoms of being glued to a screen, it’s time to take them back. It is, indeed, a bitter pill to swallow.

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Had A Great Startup Idea? Don’t Keep It A Secret

According to the most recent data around a million new startups form every year. Startups are a booming industry if you can call them an “industry,” and everyone is trying to seek out new value in the market place.

 

But there’s a problem. With so many people around competing for limited sales, there’s no enough room for every idea. In fact, only around 10 percent of start-ups make it out of the first 10 years alive. That’s pretty small odds.

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One of the reasons for this might have something to do with the consensus around intellectual property – or IP. There’s a belief in many sectors that the best defense against competition is to keep your ideas to yourself and not to discuss them with anybody else, just in case your competitors copy you. But this is a fallacy. The strength of IP law, especially in places like the US, is actually stronger than ever, You can get patents if you’re willing to wait, copyright your work and get trademarks. Some quotes have even been trademarked. Thus, the problem isn’t lack of legal protection. In fact, the protection is now so good that it rarely pays to try to be the “first mover.”

 

So what’s the logical course of action? Well, it turns out that networking is probably a better idea than trying to keep an idea under wraps. Yes, there’s a risk that somebody might do the dirty on you, steal your idea, and set up their own business, but there are some pretty strong headwinds that act against that sort of thing. For starters, most people don’t want to set up their own businesses. They’d rather have safe careers and plod through life with minimal disruption to their day to day activities.

 

Secondly, the majority of established companies probably can’t steal your ideas, even if they wanted to. The reasons for this aren’t well understood by most entrepreneurs who imagine that thanks to their massive revenues, large enterprises can copy their ideas in a flash. It turns out that big business, with some notable exceptions, are bad at adapting to new situations. Most big businesses would rather go out of business than do the hard internal work that needs to be done restructuring a business to prepare it for disruptive technologies. That’s why so many startups make it big. Large companies simply don’t have the management tools. Skills or leadership capacities in place to turn their organizations around. Startups are lean and a lot nimbler, making it easy for them to offer consumers services when companies can’t.

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Sharing your idea has distinct advantages too. We’re moving beyond a traditional business model in which companies take input from outside of the enterprise, combine them in some way, and then churn out the outputs. Instead, today’s market is more like a lattice of interdependent nodes, each of which adds value to customers. Today’s businesses need to network, to provide the full experience expected by the customer, and they can’t do that if they keep their ideas to themselves.

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