It is a fact that today's kids are addicted to technology. From smartphones to social media, all these innovations have become a huge part of teenage lives and they can go to any extent for such luxury. The latest incident of a 14-year-old Malaysian girl having sex with 35 men to collect money and buy a smartphone is one such proof.
SAC Datuk Rohaimi Md Isa, who is principal assistant director of Bukit Aman Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division (D7) told China Press that this is not the first case of teenage prostitution. Earlier, many schoolgirls were allegedly found to be involved in the sex trade.
SAC Rohaimi said the investigation by local police has indicated that the minors are offering such services for almost S$101 (RM300) and a certain part of the money would be divided by the syndicate members. It means that a minor will get only S$50.77 for her service.
This implies that in order to afford one smartphone that costs around S$1692.36 (RM5000), "she would have had to entertain her customers 35 times."
These incidents clearly indicate how far the tech addiction could affect the children. Parents are also realising that the urge to stay connected in the virtual world could affect their children's schoolwork, relationship and concentration skills but many guardians fail to find a way out of such problems.
Signs of alarm to parents:
To control a child's excessive attachment to the techno-world, which could trigger such criminal activity, experts have given the following suggestions.
First look for few signs to confirm that the child is addicted to gadgets:
- Spending time lonely, social withdrawal and increasing use of the device.
- Frequent requests to use the device and sudden temper tantrums when the request is denied or the device is taken away.
- Reducing the daily activity and continue to use the device.
- Excess preoccupation with certain characters found in games or videos, or spending excessive amounts of time and resources on them.
Corrective tips for parents:
- Limit the use of the gadget maximum of 30 minutes at a time. Make sure the total amount of screen time per day doesn't exceed the age-group recommendations.
- Schedule an appropriate time to use the device and plan for other fun activities to engage the child during their time at home.
- Keep the device away from the child's room once they are done with playing.
- Make a tech-free zone for the child. It could be in bedroom or dining anywhere.
- Appreciate the efforts he or she has put to obey your rules for using gadgets.
- Use the device when the child is playing with another one to communicate and share family values.