Belfast Telegraph

Smartphone warning from Archbishop

Warning: Archbishop Martin
Warning: Archbishop Martin

By Sarah MacDonald

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has warned parents against buying smartphones for their children as a Communion present saying there are "an awful lot of people" who would exploit them.

Speaking at the Faith in the Digital World seminar in Maynooth yesterday, Archbishop Eamon Martin said parents sometimes feel pressured into buying a mobile with internet access for their young children as a Communion present.

"That is just crazy. We wouldn't allow children to wander around the streets unsupervised - why do we feel they can wander around the digital highways unsupervised?

"There are an awful lot of people out there who would exploit young people and parents have to be aware of that and be sensible. The Church should recognise that digital technology, and especially social media, is now a permanent part of the life of the majority of young people."

He also expressed concern over the "selfie" generation's need for instant gratification, which manifests in them constantly checking their phone for "likes" and obsessing over photographs.

Belfast Telegraph

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