Hong Kong teens may act on rebel streak if schools ban mobile phones

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 8:02am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 8:01am

I refer to the article on August 6 by Luisa Tam, “To combat screen addition, Hong Kong schools should ban mobile phones”.

From the school year starting this month, a new law will prohibit students in France aged three to 15 from using mobile phones in school. And for high schools with students older than 15, it will be a voluntary initiative.

Ms Tam suggested that Hong Kong follow France in prohibiting mobile phones in school to combat smartphone addiction among youngsters. However, I don’t think this is the right way to solve the problem for teenagers.

Indeed, for some, smartphones are a crucial mode of keeping in touch with parents, letting them keep a digital eye on young children. It is also a vital means of creating a feeling of community and peer bonding. Playing games and accomplishing tasks in the virtual world can build students’ sense of mission as well. Most of all, teenagers usually relax during the lunch break and recess, and a sudden ban on smartphones may trigger dissatisfaction, making them seize every chance to resist.

University of Hong Kong students hand out smart advice to phone addicts

Teenagers are at a stage in life which makes them naturally rebellious and curious. When authority figures, be it the school administration, parents or the government, try to prohibit them from doing something, it only works to heighten their interest in that particular activity. So, banning smartphones from school would be an impractical move.

Sara Wong, Tseung Kwan O