PHILADELPHIA (CBS)– A group in Colorado is trying to ban the sale of smartphones for children under the age of 13.
The group is called “PAUS” (Parents Against Underage Smartphones) and they are gathering signatures to get an initiative on a 2018 ballot that would prohibit smartphone sales to the “tween” age group.
“What we’re doing to kids is not right. We’re abandoning kids to technology and it’s doing them a lot of harm. The kids aren’t playing out there anymore,” said Tim Farnum, founder of PAUSE. “There are certain stages of development that are not happening.”
But Farnum’s proposed ban faces bi-partisan opposition. A democratic state lawmaker called it the “wrong solution to” a “serious problem”. While a republican suggested it’s the work of those who “sit around all day dreaming up ways to control your life”.
Several doctors in the group say kids need to engage in more traditional play not so much screen time.
The doctor even compares smartphone use to an addiction and called smartphones “an electric pacifier.”
Opponents of a smartphone ban agree, too much phone use can be dangerous, but they think ‘tweens’ can learn how to use smartphones responsibly.
Supporters still have to collect almost 100,000 signatures to get it on next year’s ballot.
In a statement, the trade group representing wireless companies says “the wireless industry provides a number of tools to help parents make informed choices and manage their children’s usage.”