If a Colorado initiative gets its way 49 other states are going to be looking like anarcho-capitalist havens. Initiative 29 or the “Preservation of a Natural childhood” could make selling smartphones, tablets, and any sort of handheld wireless technology to anyone aged 13 and younger illegal which is anything but natural.
The title attempts to conjure up delightful images of a childhood free from responsibility, being driven to hockey practice, playing late into the night, and the parental figures providing all of life’s necessities. Initiative 29 capitalizes on feel good impressions, disregarding thousands of years of personal advancements.
However, this image is very unnatural. Neither electricity or cars are part of a natural childhood, and as comedian Jim Gaffigan puts it neither is using the bathroom indoors. We are surrounded by the unnatural. Colorado Initiative 29 capitalizes on your feel good impressions, disregarding thousands of years of positive advancements.
Expectantly the announcement has raised concern over state paternalism, but there are much more meaningful and deeper issues at play. Advocates are overlooking huge benefits of these technologies and are seeing smartphones as the cause of idleness rather than as the symptom. They are turning families and businesses into criminals overnight.
This is one of those topics that is going to bring about a lot of strong opinions in both directions. Like, on one hand, this technology is, in fact, the future of our nation and these innovations are moving fast. The kids in this area are going to be terribly behind the times without at least some limited access, and will be behind their peers when they leave for college. On the other hand, these kids may have a leg up in developing personal relationships and handling people face to face instead of forcing people to only communicate with them via text.
We all know, however, how this is actually going to work out, and how this is all going to be a useless mute point. Let’s say the law passes. Great! Now mom goes in and buys a phone, tells the sales person the phone is for her, and when she gets home she passes it off to Little Johnny anyway and tells him not to look at porn, now leave mommy alone while she has some wine.
The same as it is right now. Because when is the last time you saw a 13 year old buy their own $900 iPhone anyway? The only thing that is changing here is that parents just won’t tell the sales people that the phone is for their kid. It isn’t actually going to accomplish anything.