On Thursday night’s Conan discussion about kids and smartphones, Louis CK gave Conan O’Brien an earful on why he isn’t getting them for his preteen daughters.
You can see the most important part in the first minute of the video above. (Warning: The video contains the type of language you hear on Conan, plus two words bleeped out entirely.)
If you care about cyberbullying, as so many Patch readers do, you might appreciate CK’s point. I’m in the position CK describes, deciding when and whether to give my own nine-year-old a phone. My reflexive, fairly arbitrary response: “When you are twelve.” Many of her friends already have them. According to my girl, I am totally unfair: “I’m a 21st-century kid living in a 19th-century household!” she whines.
CK explains the logic behind his instinctual reluctance to give his children their own phones. By nature, kids “are mean. And it’s because they are figuring out” how to be better people, he says. When they pick on someone face-to-face, they see that person’s hurt feelings. Ripping on someone via text message (or Twitter or Facebook), gives them all the fun of being rude, while masking the effect their bullying can have.
Obviously, I’m figuring this out, like many of you may be. Parents out there, what is your policy regarding smartphones?