By B.N. Frank
Silicon Valley parents must have suspected all along that excessive screen use and exposure aren’t good for kids (see 1, 2, 3). For many years now they have been sending their own kids to expensive low-tech and no-tech schools (see 1, 2) and limiting their use of tech in their homes.
Despite increasing issues and warnings associated with kids and screens, companies still make and market tech to kids and their schools (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Unfortunately, treatment programs and counseling aren’t available or affordable to all families. In Indonesia, they are trying a more organic approach.
The city of Bandung in West Java has launched a pilot program to get students away from screens by giving them baby chickens and chili seeds in the hopes that the children will spend less time on electronic devices and more time caring for their pets or plants.
The Bandung government said that 2,000 chicks and 1,500 chili seeds are being provided to 10 elementary schools and two junior high schools in the city, which is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of the capital Jakarta.
Mayor Oded M. Danial held a symbolic hand-over ceremony earlier this week to launch the program. He said he hopes the project will help get children to use electronic gadgets less frequently, but that local education authorities need time to evaluate it.
The average Indonesian internet user spends eight hours and 36 minutes per day online — almost two hours higher than the global average — according to the Global Digital Report 2019, created by social media management platform Hootsuite and digital marketing agency We Are Social.
Several parents in Bandung appeared supportive of the program dubbed “chickenization,” according to an article posted on the local government’s official website.
“It’s good to increase the discipline of children. Caring for trees is better than playing with cellphones,” local parent Elis Puri said. Elis’ daughter was given chili seeds.
Activist Post reports regularly about how kids (and everyone else) are affected by digital, electronic, and wireless tech use and exposure. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Center For Safer Wireless
- Clear Light Ventures
- Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
- EMF Safety Network
- Environmental Health Trust
- Generation Zapped
- National Association for Children and Safe Technology
- Parents for Safe Technology
- Wireless Information Network
Image credit: Pixabay