Don't be a tablet parent

  • Awareness
  • 26/02/2016
  • Polish Safer Internet Centre

Nobody's Children Foundation presents the Homo tabletis campaign.

What was your baby's first word? Mummy? Daddy? Or maybe even tablet? If the word ‘tablet' appears early in your child's vocabulary, then it's very probable that your baby is a ‘Homo tabletis'.
 
According to recent studies, mobile devices are easily accessible for small children. In the US, 75 per cent1  of children under the age of 8 use tablets or smartphones and 38 per cent of children under the age of 2 use mobile devices. European studies show similar results. According to Millward Brown (2015), more than 40 per cent of children under the age of 2 in Poland use smartphones or tablets, with almost 30 per cent of them doing so every day2. This number is much higher among older children and reaches 84 per cent among 5-6 year olds.
 
This outcome motivated Nobody's Children Foundation (part of the Polish Safer Internet Centre) to create an awareness-raising campaign targeted at parents, aiming to educate them about moderate use of mobile technologies among small children. Together with the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres in Europe , Nobody's Children Foundation has also prepared an English-language version of the campaign and localised versions are now being prepared in Latvia and Croatia too.
 

The campaign aims to show parents the possible negative consequences of too early or uncontrolled access to electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, by small children. It also shows the positive aspects of the internet, where age-appropriate content can positively influence a child's development. A key element of the campaign was the creation of an animated spot which presents an emerging new species of human: ‘Homo tabletis'. The English-language version is narrated by stage and screen actor Ramon Tikaram.
 
The animation starts with the words: "Homo tabletis - tablet human - is along with Homo sapiens a modern human, a member of a primate family the hominidae. Homo tabletis at the early stage of life is known as a tablet infant and, from birth, remains under the permanent influence of electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones."
 
The campaign's website at www.homotabletis.org contains, among other resources, results of studies, campaign materials and a brochure with guidelines for parents. The animations, along with other materials, are also accessible from the European Better Internet for Kids (BIK) platform.
 
The campaign was initiated by Nobody's Children Foundation with a main partner being the Orange Foundation. It was designed and prepared by Astro.
 
 
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 2 Usage of mobile devices by young children in Poland, Millward Brown for Nobody's Children Foundation, http://fdn.pl/sites/default/files/file/Raporty_badawcze/Bak_Korzystanie_z_urzadzen_mobilnych_raport.pdf
3 For further information on the Insafe network, see https://www.betterinternetforkids.eu/web/portal/policy/insafe-inhope.

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