“Just five more minutes!”
Famous words uttered out of the mouths of many children, now to be a thing of the past in the country of Taiwan.
Electronic entertainment in the form of computers, phones, and tablets may be cut short for Taiwanese children. The Republic of China has passed a new law that’s punishable up to a NT$50,000 fine if parents don’t restrict access to these pieces of electronic self indulgence. The rational? These devices are considered addictive and even harmful in excess according to the government of Taiwan. By this law, parents are obligated to monitor their children’s habits in order to make sure they aren’t exceeding recommendations of how much time is considered healthy in front of a screen. What this time is isn’t certain, most likely this will be for a court to decide.
Taiwan isn’t the only nation that wants to limit time for children on digital media, China and South Korea have also considered imposing limits of their own. In South Korea’s case, the country also may regulate video games in the same manner as drugs and gambling. An incident on April 2014 in which a man left his two year old to die so he could play video games at an Internet café is only one example of how a simple addiction can become costly. The scary thing about that, this wouldn’t be the first time death has occurred within an Internet café.
Not even deep into the new year and a 32 year old man lost his life to his gaming addiction in a Taiwanese Internet café. This three day gaming binge was the island’s second death to what many consider a harmless hobby. While not sourced as reason for the new law for kids, it certainly is plausible tragedies like this play some role in wanting to restrict access for screen time to a couple of hours versus many like pediatricians recommend.
Video games are a great stress relief and the Internet can be a wonderful place full of cat videos and memes. As with all good things, moderation is the key! We’re not sure having a government backed law is the best way to go about hammering that message home. However, it’s a good idea to put down the mobile once and awhile to enjoy being a kid.
What do you think about Taiwan’s stance on issuing a law to limit digital play time for children?