Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection

Digitally-divided dad (now available in pink)

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When supermarkets start making Tablets for just over a hundred pounds I start asking “What is it  thats going in in Retail?” When Argos start releasing them under the ‘Bush’ brand my brain takes a leap that anyone can now make this tin and that Android is as ubiquitous and freely available as any mass distributed software. There is only £100 in between me and a my-little-pony pink 7-inch tablet – and yes – christmas is coming and technology is on the kids own santa shopping list (which is already painfully shaped by having an Argos catalogue in the house – print is not a dead media).

But what Argos has done as set the tablet up with parental controls and that is a smart step – because I know enough to know that this isn’t easy – that I don’t want the responsibility to say that this device is safe enough for a 6 year old. But now because of what Argos have done that I can rest in peace. My kids can be digitally enabled and Argos have made it safe – pony-pink safe. And its social networking focused too. So thats great – they have groomed out the groomers.

If the parental controls are fit for purpose and Argos curate an educational journey – this will fly. If they are remise in anyway for facilitating an unconstructive digital exposure – to kids – they will have a crisis on their hands.

This is a fine line for Argos –  so fine as I would have to call it reckless, or at least premature. 

Argos do not have a legitimate position as a digital educator and they do not have credibility as a guardian in a connected digital world. They do have a legitimate position of a high street retailer (With a 14 day money back guarantee, folks) and what they are doing will sell – big. 

But what Im asking is where is the inventory of FAQ on parental guidance, the community of peers that will help me and answer my concerns about taking my kids digital. And which close and considered partnerships with experts and influencers have they built to give them credibility. This isn’t about tech this is about trust – because someone just mentioned my kids.

Maybe at £100 I loose the right to ask these questions. But I don’t think so.




Author: jameslramsay

Practice director at the ShelfLife project - digital by day, campfire by night

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