Colorado Voters Will Get A Chance To Prevent Preteens From Using Smartphones

from the making-the-state-an-adoptive-parent dept

Some enterprising Colorado residents have turned a small tech panic into a stupid ballot measure. (via Free Range Kids)

Dr. Timothy J. Farnum apparently doesn't like the way his teenaged kids act. He blames this on smartphones.

"They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were," he said.

With one of his sons, then 12, he thought the problem became bad enough to warrant taking the phone away.

"(With smartphones), the internet is always begging for your attention," he said. "The apps are all designed to addict you. ... For children, it's not a good thing."

Because parenting is hard, Farnum has decided to see if the state can't pick up his parenting slack. He has introduced a ballot measure that would ban retailers from selling phones to preteens, even indirectly. If this anesthesiologist can find 300,000 like-minded idiots willing to follow him into legislative infamy, his proposal could possibly become law.

To drum up support for his idea, Farnum has cobbled together a website that probably looks terrible on mobile devices. It certainly looks awful on the regular web.

And it's full of terribleness -- half-arguments and citation-less assertions, not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect from a board of directors composed of people with medical degrees. Here's just a few of the convincing arguments Farnum deploys:

Years from now parents will look back on our time and shake their heads and wonder how we allowed this atrocity. Allowing our children to be robbed of their carefree days of wonder, laughter, and normal natural development. Yes, they will wonder, didn't they see it?, didn't they see their children stop achieving, stop playing, stop laughing, ceasing to be free? Instead, isolating themselves in their rooms choosing soft and cushy electronic lives over their real ones. Didn't they see the damage?

Or:

Currently, parents are supposed to do everything, and the manufacturers, content and service providers, basically everyone in the whole industry gets a free pass. Parents are somehow supposed to be up to date on the current recommendations on usage from experts, and enforce these recommendations, plus guard their children everywhere they go. This is not only unfair, it is altogether impossible given the saturation of our children's environment.

Or:

The wild west free for all that we have now has left parents with little clear direction, and has caused incalculable damage to children. The American Academy of Pediatricians came out in 2000 with their recommendations, reaffirmed them in 2012, and yet parents are unaware, and children continue to be harmed.

FINALLY. A citation to something other than Farnum's gut instinct, or how the world should change to better accommodate his strained relationship with his sullen, withdrawn children. Something written by someone other than an anesthesiologist.

Or not. There's no link to these recommendations or direct quotes from any AAP report. It's as if Farnum believes you can just type something on the internet and readers are obligated to believe it.

The AAP certainly doesn't suggest legislation should take the place of parenting, no matter how Farnum skews it.

The AAP recommends that parents and caregivers develop a family media plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each child as well as the whole family.

“Families should proactively think about their children’s media use and talk with children about it, because too much media use can mean that children don’t have enough time during the day to play, study, talk, or sleep,” said Jenny Radesky, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, “Media and Young Minds,” which focuses on infants, toddlers and pre-school children. “What’s most important is that parents be their child’s ‘media mentor.’ That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn.”

What a revolutionary idea: parents engaging in the act of parenting! But if that's not for you, there's Farnum's ballot measure [PDF], which is prefaced with phrasing guaranteeing it will never be taken seriously.

WE THE PARENTS AND CONCERNED CITIZENS OF THIS MOST MAGNIFICENT STATE THROUGH FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE AND MOUNTING SCIENTIFIC DATA HAVE COME TO BELIEVE THAT SMARTPHONES ARE ADDICTIVE, HARMFUL, AND DANGEROUS IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN.

THE MANUFACTURES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS OF SMARTPHONES HAVE CONTINUED UNABATED TO PROMOTE THEIR USE IN A RECKLESS AND WANTON MANNER, WITH NO CONCERN FOR OUR CHILDREN'S HEALTH OR SAFETY.

OUR GOVERNMENT BODIES ON ALL LEVELS HAVE FAILED TO GRASP THE LEVEL OF ADDICTION, THE SEVERITY OF THE HARM, OR THE UNMENTIONABLE STARK DEPRAVITY OF THE DANGERS.

WE AS PARENTS FIND THIS MATTER TO BE SO WIDESPREAD, SO INSIDIOUS AND OF THE VERY HIGHEST PRIORITY. NO HALF MEASURES, INEFFECTUAL EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS, NEW APPLICATIONS, OR PROMISES FROM MEGA-CORPORATIONS OF IMPROVEMENT WILL SUFFICE TO CAUSE THE GREAT CHANGE NECESSARY TO RESCUE THIS AND GENERATIONS OF CHILDREN TO COME FROM THE CARELESS AND EXPERIMENTAL INTRODUCTION OF SIMILAR TECHNOLOGIC[AL] DEVICES AND ADVANCEMENTS BY PROFIT DRIVEN CORPORATIONS.

It's pretty much a conspiracy theorist's message board post, only with some nonsensical legislation attached. The proposal would require retailers to ask customers if they're buying phones for preteens and, apparently, refuse the sale if the answer is "yes." Retailers are also required to put up signage informing customers of the new state-enforced policy and train employees to dig into the details of customers' purchases. Then they'll have to turn this information over to the state.

(4) RETAILER SHALL VERBALLY INQUIRE ABOUT THE AGE OF INTENDED PRIMARY OWNER PRIOR TO COMPLETING THE SALE OF ANY SMARTPHONE.

(5) RETAILER MUST DOCUMENT THE RESPONSE OF PURCHASER AND KEEP A RECORD OF THIS RESPONSE.

(6) RETAILER MUST FILE A MONTHLY REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT THAT PROVIDES A LISTING OF:

(a) THE TYPE OF PHONE THAT WAS PURCHASED EITHER SMARTPHONE OR CELLULAR

(b) THE AGE OF THE INTENDED PRIMARY OWNER AT TIME OF PURCHASE

This is a really disturbing addition, as it places smartphone sellers under a more pervasive form of regulation than sellers of other age-controlled items like alcohol, cigarettes, and porn. And it makes no sense at all to maintain these records, as the proposal contains no avenue of state recourse against parents who lie to retailers about the cellphone recipient's age.

Retailers who violate the law face steadily-increasing fines, starting at $500 and topping out at $20,000. Retailers are given an "affirmative defense" to use when accused of violating the law, but can only use this defense twice in a 24-month period. And it's not really an affirmative defense. It's really nothing more than a statement of compliance with mandated sales policy changes that can be used to shield the retailer from fines if it's determined to have violated the law.

Finally, to cap off the nonsense this is, Farnum's own site presents this contradictory argument:

It absolutely is a parents right to choose how to raise their child. But it is also our American parents right to form an alliance together and try to make manufacturers and service providers accountable for the mess they have created.

It is a parent's right to choose. Here's some legislation taking that choice away! And some sort of plan to collect reparations from local retailers for the evils perpetrated on society by manufacturers. Somehow this proposal managed to survive the scrutiny of state ballot officials, which doesn't say much for their judgment skills.


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  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 6:47am

    CO Ballot Initiatives -- Thank You Amendment 71!

    While I was split on this when they were pushing Amendment 71 through last election. It upped the requirements for ballot initiatives so that a normal Joe Blow couldn't just get irritated for half a second and throw something on the ballot half cocked (this article case in point).

    Thankfully this will put a stop to a lot of these nut-jobs putting random things on the ballot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:02am

      Re: CO Ballot Initiatives -- Thank You Amendment 71!

      I really miss the earnest young people in parking lots with clipboards asking me if I'd sign the petition to make wearing sunscreen illegal and to make it a felony to use a plastic bag.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 8:42am

    That sounds like I cannot parent, and therefore I want a law passed to make somebody else responsible for my mistakes, and which will prevent all parents from making my mistakes. The fact that this will stop responsible parents from giving their kids technology and avoiding my mistakes is just a minor piece of collateral damage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ThaumaTechnician (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      Yeah, 'cuz no child ever needed to be protected from their stupid or malevolent parents, eh.

      http://wfla.com/2017/06/20/sebring-mom-who-let-snake-bite-baby-wont-be-prosecuted/

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 12:39pm

        Re: Re:

        Yea, that's perfect logic.

        Punish EVERYONE for the fuckery of just a few.

        Brilliant!

        Before we do that, we need to make a law where stupid people like you are not allowed to vote first.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          ThaumaTechnician (profile), 23 Jun 2017 @ 4:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So lemme see if I've got this straight:
          You'd rather put a child at risk than to have a law which protects them and has no effect whatsoever on your behaviour.

          Way to go, eh.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2017 @ 5:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You'd rather put a child at risk

            This should read The child's parent(s) would rather put a child at risk

            Let's assign blame here where it belongs. If you want to really make a difference, criminalize shitty parenting.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2017 @ 7:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Is it possible you missed the point?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2017 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Before we do that, we need to make a law where stupid people like you are not allowed to breed first.

          FTFY.

          Also, that's a win-win here, if they didn't have kids then they wouldn't be making this stupid proposal in the first place. The only lose here is for the idiots that think they can have kids without the responsibility that comes with being a parent.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sigalrm (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 8:56am

    We're back to Correlation vs. Causation

    "They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were," he said. With one of his sons, then 12, he thought the problem became bad enough to warrant taking the phone away.

    Yeah. A 12 year old boy locking himself away in his bedroom is more likely to be caused by puberty than a smartphone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 8:59am

    This reads like the same sort of rhetoric that was used to try and demonize video games as some kind of horrific, damaging thing to children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      I'm missing a few fingertips because when I was 12 I was mixing my own black powder explosives.

      Video games and smartphones have since been demonized as dangerous to kids. Never that THAT coming.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jordan Chandler, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:01am

    age descrimination

    Is it legal to discriminate against them for their age?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:03am

      Re: age descrimination

      There are laws for minimum age for smoking and drinking. This could be equivalent I suppose.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 10:19am

        Re: Re: age descrimination

        Those types of laws exist because smoking and drinking do provable damage to the bodies of teenagers and pre-teens. Nothing in this bill shows a causal link between cellphones and any kind of harm done to teenagers and pre-teens. Anecdotes about kids locking themselves in their room or “becoming different people” when using a cellphone can inspire sympathy, but anecdotal evidence should not be used as the basis for a law such as this.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 4:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: age descrimination

          If you eliminate all laws passed because of anecdotes rather than evidence, we'd have DAMN FEW laws left! ... and on that note, DO IT! :)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:07am

    "They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were," he said. With one of his sons, then 12, he thought the problem became bad enough to warrant taking the phone away.


    So his other child still has their phone? Why is he proposing a law that he is not already following?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      stderric (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      To be fair, the 12-year-old was caught texting while driving. What's a father supposed to do, take away the kid's car instead?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:38am

        Re: Re:

        After her 11-year-old son was suspended for twice bringing a loaded handgun to school, Linnea C. Holdren, 43, said the matter was pretty much beyond her control. "I can't lock up his guns," she told police. "They belong to him, and he has a right to use them whenever he wants to use them." (The boy was expelled in January, and Holdren, who is a teacher at her son's Shickshinny, Pa., elementary school, has been charged with felony endangerment.)

        • San Jose Mercury News-AP, 12-18-05; WYOU-TV (Scranton), 1-18-06, via News of the Weird

        At least it wasn't a smartphone.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TruthHurts (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:07am

    Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

    It's called parenting.

    If a parent cannot, or will not take charge of their child's development and emplace appropriate limits on device usage, passing a law isn't going to improve anything.

    All that passing this law will do is criminalize the actions or lack of actions on the part of parents who are indifferent to their childrens' wellbeing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:52am

      Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

      that would ban retailers from selling phones to preteens, even indirectly.

      It is actually an attempt to stop smart phones being sold within the state, as every sale could be an indirect sale to a preteen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        TruthHurts (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

        That's a fallacy. It's an attempt to use the law to do a parent's job.

        It's a decision for the parents as to whether or not their child is responsible enough to have a phone.

        There's also the safety issue, parents may get "dumb phones" instead of smart phones so that their child can communicate with them if something happens.

        That law would prevent that communication and could cause direct harm to a child that might otherwise been able to reach out to their parent to get out of a dangerous situation.

        If I were a parent in Co, and something happened to my child because of that law, I'd sue the state for their next 10 year's budget.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 2:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

          Not if you LIED about your child's age when you went to buy the phone. When the sales clerk asked you about the age of the primary user, all you would have to do is lie about their age, and buy the phone.

          Nothing in that law makes it illegal for a parent to lie to the retailer about their age.

          I could see a lot of parents lying about childrens's ages

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 4:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

            And you'd see parents going to jail when the teacher calls in to the police because the child has a phone with 3 buttons on it.

            #1 - 911
            #2 - Parent #1
            #3 - Parent #2 / Grandparent / Uncle / Aunt - whatever.

            Think the I.C.E. numbers that "feature" phones used to have.

            Remember I.C.E.?
            In
            Case (of)
            Emergency

            That is why the law is overreach and dangerous.
            Let the parents do the parenting, state and feds, keep the fuck out of it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 5:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

              Not if the parent drove Cheyenne, Wyoming, and bought a phone for their kid there. All the law says is that the store cannot SELL a phone to an under-13.

              That proposition, as written, does not not prohibit a parent, say, in Denver, driving 100 miles to Cheyenne, and buying a phone there.

              Cheyenne is 102 miles from Denver. If the parents drives to Cheyenne and buys a phone there, that would not violate this law.

              Like I said, If this law goes through, I will consider opening up a cell phone store in Cheyenne, and I will encourage parents who want their under-13 children to have a phone to come to my Cheyenne store, if I open one, to buy a phone there, where Colorado law will not apply, either to them, to me.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

              Reading the text of the law, it does not crminialize the PARENTS for buying their kids a smartphone. It is only the RETAILER that gets penalized.

              So it would not be against the law for a parent to go to Wymoing to buy a phone or their kid, a parent to lie about their kids' ages, or for kids to possess a cell phone.

              In short, this will not stop a determined parent who wants to their kids to have phones. It will only inconvenience the parents when they drive all the way to Cheyenne to buy a phone.

              In short, this is a measure that will only make cell phone retailers lose business to stores in places like Cheyenne, where this law does not apply.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2017 @ 12:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

            But then the store has indirectly sold a phone to a minor. Do you think that a cop with a grudge would let the store off because the parent lied.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2017 @ 1:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Colorado Voters have always had that ability.

              They would have to KNOWINGLY sell to a minor. There would be no way for the store to verify the age.

              And there is nothing in the law the criminalizes a parent for lying about a child's age on that.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    SteveMB (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:38am

    "They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were," he said.

    Is he talking about a smartphone or a swig of Dr. Jekyll's potion?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stan (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:52am

    We've heard this before...

    This all sounds so, so familiar. Like way back in the 1950's when preachers and school principals were predicting doom and gloom because comic books "...ARE ADDICTIVE, HARMFUL, AND DANGEROUS IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN."

    Just imagine the outcry when Dr Farnum discovers that 12-year-olds can read comic books on their smartphones! And do you know what that leads to? Porn!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DogBreath, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:53am

    It's a good thing Dr. Timothy J. Farnum's kids don't live in Oregon

    or I'm sure this would have happened to them by now:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGXSPf9b-xI

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 9:58am

    Shouldn't the retailers already be denying sales when the primary owner is under the age of 18? You shouldn't be trying to provide services to someone unable to sign a contact. Now if the question was about the primary user the legislation might be slightly less useless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    michael, 22 Jun 2017 @ 10:11am

    Blast from the past ...

    I remember when I got a computer in the early '80s and read all the stories about how kids who spent all their time at the computer would miss out on their childhood.

    30+ years later I'm making 6-figures and have a great life thanks mainly to that computer and all the time I "wasted" in front of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 10:37am

    What have we learned here?
    That even educated parents are fucking stupid.

    Rather than deal with having to be the adult and supervise his own fucking spawn, he wants the state to do it.
    He'll have no problem finding 300K stupid parents, who will lap up every conspiracy theory on his website (believing a Doctor knows the truth - See Also: Anti-Vax Dr. who is STILL getting paid to claim autism connection despite repeated beat-downs).

    My kids got mad because I told them to stop using the phone!!!
    It was scary for me, they were gonna hurt me.
    You pay the fing bill, find your balls and turn off the phones if you dislike it.

    Being an adult it is ONLY your responsibility to tell your kids how to behave, & correct behavior you don't like.

    Look at all of the bullshit he is willing to do to avoid having to be the 'bad guy' in his kids eyes.

    Just because YOUR KIDS can't handle smart phones, doesn't mean all kids can't handle smart phones. You want to make retailers liable for not asking if the phone MIGHT end up in the hands of someone under the age of 13... in a country where parents constantly hand the phone to their children to distract them.

    He's an idiot & perhaps he should use that educated mind to think perhaps HE needs parenting classes & not to ride a self righteous high horse of the state must be the bad guy parent for me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 10:43am

      Re:

      Look at all of the bullshit he is willing to do to avoid having to be the 'bad guy' in his kids eyes.

      That would have failed the second his kids looked at his website.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, and since the Internet never forgets, they will grow up and have this stellar record of how bad a parent they had.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re:

        The chances of them going to a Geocities special are low.

        More likely they will find out when their classmates beat the hell out of them because their Dad wants the state to take away their phones.

        Of course this will get added to the Geocities special that smartphones cause violence in children.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 12:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In general kids would avoid going there, but when they want to find out what their parents are up to.... well I doubt that there dad has the operational security to keep his kids from finding out that he has the site.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason, 22 Jun 2017 @ 11:19am

    They've done nothing! ... Nothing they would do is enough!

    There's so much to shake your head at in that ballot text, but my favorite bit is how quickly it goes from how wanton and careless and unconcerned the manufacturers all are... to saying that nothing they could ever say or do would ever possibly be enough to solve the problem.

    And, seriously... "unmentionable stark depravity"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Avantare (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 11:23am

    CO huh?

    Go smoke some weed, it'll be OK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 11:41am

    Frontal lobotomy. Let's face it, it's the only way to stop the child changing into a grown person. Or perhaps the kid hates his father. I sure wonder why...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 11:42am

    Religion 101

    Part 1. If you don't like something, make sure anyone else who likes that thing you don't like is punished.

    Part 2. Invent a god that dictates no one can like that thing you don't like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 11:51am

    Another group of self righteous crusaders attempting tell everyone else what they are allowed to do. This will get voted down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 12:38pm

    The American Academy of Pediatricians came out in 2000 with their recommendations, reaffirmed them in 2012, and yet parents are unaware, and children continue to be harmed.

    This sentence caught me as odd. Arguing that restrictions should be put on manufacturers because parents are unaware?

    Why not make it a law not to be an uninformed, irresponsible parent? Last thing we need is children learning that it's OK to be a technologically illiterate idiot in the 21st century.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 1:48pm

    If a parent wants to buy a smartphone for their under-13, they can still go accross the state line and buy one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 2:02pm

    Like I said, all the parent has to do it go accross the state line to do it. Denver, with has most of Colorado's population, is only 102 miles, up I-25, from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

    If this goes through, I could see cell phone stores in Cheyenne getting a lot of business from people in the Denver area to avoid this law.

    If anyone is planing on opening a business in Cheyenne, I would recommend opening up a cell phone store there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 2:04pm

    If they ask you about the age of the intended user, the parent can simply lie about it, the provider will not be the wiser

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 4:13pm

    If you don't want your kids to have a Smartphone because of the Internet and/or App's, DON'T BUY YOUR KID A SMARTPHONE!!! Why is this so hard to figure out. The LAST thing you want is the government telling you how you should raise your kid. That always turns out bad,

    There's no one stopping you from given your kid a DUMB Phone. All they're mostly good for is Voice Calls, or pain in the butt Text Messages. Or don't give your kid(s) a phone at all. I didn't grow up with a phone. I had to go home to make a call, or a friends house to make a call. I seemed to have lived through being a kid without a Cell Phone!!! Same with all the other kids around me.

    A Call phone is not mandatory. Try being a parent. The Government is a far worse parent to have.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jun 2017 @ 6:35pm

    How are they going to stop a parent, in Denver, from driving to Cheyenne to buy a phone for their under-13 child? A cell phone store in Wymoing does not have follow Colorado law, even if the buyer is from Colorado.

    Cheyenne is 102 miles from Denver, so I could see a lot of parents, who want to their kids to have a phone, driving into Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, or New Mexico, to buy a phone for their kids.

    This proposed law does not prohibit a parent from going out of state to buy their kid a phone.

    And if this goes through, that is exactly what will happen. Cell phone stores in those states, that are close to the Colorado border, will get more business.

    And even adults, who think it is none the governments business who the primary owner is going to be, will also buy all their phones out of state.

    All this will do is cause retailers in Colorado to lose business to other states, where this law would have no effect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PopeyeLePoteaux (profile), 22 Jun 2017 @ 11:11pm

    Personal anecdote.

    One of my closest friends, who is a parent of two, now told me once that the best way to monitor kids without becoming an helicopter parent was to actually show interest on what they are doing on the internet.

    Like, whenever his son is surfing the web or immersed on his smartphone, he (or his wife) just walks in and casually asks his kid what is he doing and starting a conversation with him, showing him that there is a genuine interest on his part to be included in his kid's life without being perceived as invasive. So his son shares his interests with him and tells him what kind of stuff is he browsing, who's talking to, if it is a school friend and whatnot, making the exchange to flow naturally and building mutual trust.

    So, leaving that personal anecdote aside, I think the question isn't even about how could ever this stop a parent from buying a smartphone for their kids outside the state, but rather how lazy and unattached some parents seem to be if they want a law that in the end will make them believe it will be easier to keep their children from engaging in harmful attitudes, most of which come from the lack of actual parental supervision and being involved in their children's lives.

    Instead, they invent this new boogey man just like Cartoons, Comic Books, Heavy Metal, Videogames, etc., were labeled as back when I was a kid, while preaching vapid sanctimony to bamboozle people and make them believe that anything that catches children's attention is inherently harmful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 23 Jun 2017 @ 1:08am

    "Parents Against Underage Smartphones"

    What? They're trying to bad any smartphone under the age of 18? Even their awkward incomplete acronym can't get a decent message across.

    "Currently, parents are supposed to do everything"

    Yes, they are. It's called parenting. If you don't like it, you should have thought about the job description before you signed up for it.

    It's quite simple - you choose to buy something and introduce it into your home / give it to your kids, it's your job to ensure that it's acceptable for those kids. This may mean researching the recommendations and enforcing rules if you decide to allow it in your home. You also have the option to say no to your own kids if you don't want one - just don't try telling more intelligent, committed parents what they can do.

    "plus guard their children everywhere they go"

    Do you feel like you need to do that without the phone, I wonder, or do you just feel that weird compulsion when they have one in their pocket? Either way, this seems to suggest an unhealthy mental state of the parent, not the child.

    "They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were," he said.
    With one of his sons, then 12..."

    Erm, 12 year old boys have been doing that since long before the phone was invented, let alone smartphones. Whether due to puberty or trying to get away from the asshole helicopter parent who thinks he has to follow his children everywhere they go, whoc knows?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cecil, 23 Jun 2017 @ 6:10am

    Report from 2000

    There were no smart phones in 2k. The complaint then was computers and game consoles... There is probably a report from 1950's somewhere that blames it on comic books and television... In fact, there's probably one from 375 B.C. that blames it on clay tablets and chisels!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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