The Case Against the Yaya 2.0: Smartphones and Tablets

A lot of Filipino parents treat their smartphones or tablets as the “Yaya 2.0” for their kids. To stop their child from being noisy or too active, they let them borrow their smartphone or tablet and let them watch YouTube videos, play games, or browse the web. Sometimes they just give their kids a smartphone of their own. This can be very dangerous because the sad truth is that Internet is not a safe place for kids. Allow me to make the case against Yaya 2.0 in this post.

Online Predators Are Real

In the last two years I’ve met at least 5 parents who shared with me that their kids were victimized by criminal elements online. Young boys were approached online on Facebook Messenger by “female” accounts. They were befriended, teased, and suckered into a fake online relationship. The “female” asks for nude and compromising pictures which the young boys send. After that it goes downhill as the kids are blackmailed into sending money or else the photos would go public. The damage this does is tremendous to the kid and to the family.

“25% of millennials have received a nude photo or sext.” McCann Truth Study

Online predators are real and they are actively searching for victims on social media. The age old saying “Don’t Talk to Strangers” applies to the online space as well and you need to actively teach your kids to follow this advice.

Easy Access Gateway to Porn

Pornographic materials used to be difficult to get. You’d have to go to an adult rental store and borrow a VHS tape. These days it’s just one click of a button.

“42% of Filipino Youth looked at porn on their smartphone.” McCann Truth Study

Sex education should be through the school or given by parents. It shouldn’t be online via pornographic websites. Not only will it ruin the values of your kid, but it can affect how they view the opposite sex and eventually damage future relationships.

Kids Are no Match for Artificial Intelligence

Social media and content platforms are addictive by design. Companies like Google and Facebook invest hundreds of millions of dollars to develop features and algorithms powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence to keep their users hooked on to their platform so that they can advertise to them and make money. Users will be served their favorite content regularly so that they keep clicking, watching, and consuming content.

Kids are no match for this kind of AI. They will get addicted. They will get hooked. And they will lose control. Eventually they will start throwing tantrums when they can’t have access to the smartphone or tablet anymore because they’re addicted already.

Parents Need to Set Limits

Parents shouldn’t surrender expertise of technology and social media to their kids. The reality is the inconvenience of not learning new things like digital will and letting your kids do what they want in those platforms is terribly dangerous to their wellbeing. Take control of technology and don’t let it control you or your children.

Apart from the dangers, there’s also the angle of you knowing the world of your children. And this is where I’ll end this post. Please watch the short video below of a powerful story of celebrity Terry Crews and his quest to build a PC with his kid.

Take control of technology and don’t let it control you or your children.

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Carlo Ople

Author Carlo Ople

Founder and writer of and for full disclosure I'm also the Vice-President for Digital Marketing Strategy of PLDT/Smart, the largest telco in the Philippines. Prior to this I co-founded a digital advertising agency (DM9 Digit) which we sold to Dentsu, the largest single branded agency in the world. I also co-founded one of the biggest tech websites in the country, Unbox ( Views do not represent PLDT/Smart and are purely my own.

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