Generation

Though digital advancement has led to the development of new fields, it does have a downside when it comes to the protection of our children. Our teenagers are exposed to numerous pitfalls that are part of life online.

Every other day, one gets to hear of incidents related to teenagers facing cyber-bullying, connecting with fraudsters, and falling prey to well-organised gangs. We may criticise the parents to our heart’s content, but, practically speaking, it is just about impossible for a parent, or anyone, to constantly oversee what the children are doing online, especially when they happen to be teenagers.

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Against that backdrop, it is the responsibility of social media applications to take the lead and build a mandatory mechanism to ensure parental consent before anyone legally underage may join a certain platform. In fact, the idea cropped up in my mind after I recently came to know about a new feature that TikTok has launched.

Called ‘Family Pairing’, the tool enables parents to restrict the screen time of their children, and decide whether a child’s account should be private or public.

If one platform can do this, I don’t see why the others cannot. It is a step in the right direction in any social setup, especially in a country like Pakistan.

The way things are turning out, parenting has become a hard task, with teenagers apparently in a hurry to behave like adults, taking their own decisions without any idea of the possible consequences of their acts of omission and commission. If there is one less thing to worry about, parents would love to have that option. The fact is, they deserve to have such an option.

ZOHAIB ALI

KARACHI

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