A mother and daughter’s perspective on digital access
By Ruhaifa Adil – CEO, Toy Chest Pakistan, advocate of a gadget-free childhood and Rumaisa Samir – Generation Z Muslimah teenager
I know I’m always asking for a phone, and I know you’re hesitant to give me one. I know we end up fighting when I insist on you getting me one, and I think it’s partly my fault because I am unable to articulate why I want my own device. So I thought I’d write you a letter to tell you why I think having a smartphone is actually a good idea!
I see my friends around me with their phones, sometimes at school or at their homes. If their phone rings or beeps their attention immediately diverts to it, and I sit there awkwardly silent and bored as they fiddle with their phones. Having a smartphone gives my peers something in common. Nobody teases or embarrasses me for not having my own device, but the fact that I don’t own one does make me feel like an outsider. It makes me hesitant around other people my age, strangers or not, when I see a veritable river of them glued to their smartphones. I feel lonely, isolated even, when I see the extent of their connectivity to the people and the world around them. I feel confined and restricted, and that I am missing out. I’d even say that at times I feel insecure around peers and those of my age group.
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