Wednesday 17 January 2018

French Wi-fi ban and enough of the referendum red herring!

By David Looby

David Looby
David Looby

I don't know about you, but I've had enough of red herrings, of fear being sewn, of the electorate being duped and for that matter of entrenched debates.

The time for lengthy discussion on the same sex marriage referendum has arrived and I'm all about it, but the repetition in terms of everything from the people on either side speaking out against or in favour of the landmark referendum, to the language used, is getting old very fast.

Now that I'm venting, I'm also sick of the trend of serving food on anything but a plate. As a foodie who reads restaurant reviews and watches Mastercheffy programmes with alarming regularity, I'm appalled at the trend, even if I have never really encountered it first hand, apart from being served weiner schnitzel on a frying pan once in Vienna.

AS France bans Wi-fi in nursery and primary schools it's about time our government, in its rush to improve Broadband across the nation (and about time), needs to start taking a good, hard look at society.

In recent years tablets and smartphones have become part and parcel of most homes. In America they have been selling like proverbial hot cakes for years and many children are already displaying signs of being addicted to them. As a result basic skills like hand writing, spelling and having a decent attention span have fallen by the wayside.

Children learn quick and within a few uses of tablets and smartphones they know how to find their favoruite songs and videos on Youtube and woe betide the parent who separates their child from their smartphone these days.

I'm guilty myself of allowing The Whirlwind Princess and The Little Fella the use of my phone. Thankfully it's too precious for them to turf into the toilet, but they have ended up calling the guards on occasion, to much hilarity.

As the demands on working couples grow the default option of letting children be parented (albeit temporarily by technology), is not something which society should be welcoming. Of course most of us were put in front of the idiot box to watch cartoons as children and that trend remains, but now blank eyed children everywhere are getting hooked to having technology in their hands all the time. This is anti social which means it will be bad for interpersonal relationships and for society as a whole. The government needs to take a proactive stance on society. The Celtic Tiger years saw our society implode. Morals went out the window in favour of a race-to-the-bottom, money minded mentality. That sense of loss remains and technology is taking over in its place.

There are also health implications to consider.

The French Wi-fi ban in primary schools, which also welcome older pupils and where computers are used in lessons, Wi-fi points in classrooms must be disabled when not in use, national frequencies regulator, L'Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR) has said.

Restrictions on Wi-fi access in schools are intended to reduce young children's exposure to electromagnetic wave radiation, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer considers, 'possibly carcinogenic'.

Wexford People

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