In a recent article in The Guardian, Kate Winslet – co-star of new Steve Jobs film – says she is worried by the addictive qualities of devices Apple has created.
Parents are “losing control” of their children to social media, award-winning British actor Kate Winslet has said, adding the she has banned her own from using such sites over fears their self-esteem is being damaged.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the Revolutionary Road star, 40, said parents should confiscate technology from their offspring – who she said may turn to social media for validation from strangers. Winslet said social media made her blood boil and said it has a huge impact on young women’s self-esteem. “Because all they ever do is design themselves for people to like them. And what comes along with that? Eating disorders,” she said, adding: “We don’t have any social media in our house.”
The actor, shot to fame after the success of Titanic in the late 90s, revealed that when her daughter Mia had asked for an Instagram account, the photo-sharing site, she told her daughter that sharing photos is like giving away memories. Winslet would not however put her name to a campaign on parenting in the digital age saying: “Stars get slagged off for getting behind causes” and that she did not want to look like a celebrity who thinks “they’ve got the answers”.
The mother of three called for parents to take mobile devices out of the hands of their young. “Let your kids climb trees,” she said, adding the suggestion: “Play Monopoly!”
In the wide-ranging interview given ahead of the release of Steve Jobs, a new film starring Michael Fassbender and directed by Danny Boyle, Winslet said she and her husband, Ned Rocknroll, distance themselves from their mobile phones by charging them downstairs at night. Winslet added she was troubled by the addictive quality of the devices that Jobs created. People “practically kiss them goodnight” she said.
Her harshest criticism was reserved for families who are glued to mobile devices when out together. She said: “You go to a cafe and grown-ups are at one end of the table and children the other, on devices, not looking up.” “They go into a world, and parents let them. I’m going to get slagged off for saying this, but it takes every member of a family to be a family, and there are too many interruptions these days — and devices are a huge interruption,” Winslet added.
Playing “I-spy” on long car journeys was more important, she said.
The mother of three is the latest to speak out on the effect of technology on the young. In August Tom Bennett, the government’s adviser on behaviour in schools, said children should be kept away from iPads for as long as possible. He states ”
“Schools are increasingly giving kids iPads, even primary schools. I am not a fan of that. There is absolutely no research evidence that giving kids technology helps them learn. Some people say, ‘Give kids iPads because they love them and then they will love learning too.’ No, kids love iPads, that’s all. From my point of view they are used far too often as a pacifier by teachers who can’t control classes.”
Strong opinions from Kate Winslet and Tom Bennett – what do you think?
Are schools (and parents) using them just to keep children quiet? Or is there a benefit? Should we help our children keep abreast of technology?