Prince William has revealed that as parents to Prince George and Princess Charlotte, he and Kate are concerned about raising them in such a ‘digitally-immersed’ society and explained why he finds the situation so ‘alarming’.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Manchester yesterday to attend the Children’s Global Media Summit, which continues their interest and work in mental health issues in children and young people.
After meeting delegates at the conference and a short private meeting related to the Cyber Bullying Taskforce, Prince William gave a speech at the summit, where he spoke about how digital technology is having, and will continue to have, an impact on the futures of children.
Prince William began his speech by praising Manchester and the tough, resilient spirit of the city after what he called ‘a tough year’. Manchester was the centre of one of the worst terrorist attacks in the UK in 2017, when a bomb was detonated on 22nd May at Manchester arena after an Ariana Grande concert.
‘Manchester has had a tough year, and I personally stand in awe of the way the people of Manchester have united in bravery and support of one another’ Prince William said. ‘This community is a great example to all of us, wherever we are from.’
The Duke then went on to discuss the impact of technology on children’s lives, and why as parents themselves, he and Kate are ‘concerned’ about the potential negative impact that the digital world has on young people.
‘Parents like Catherine and me are raising the first generation of digitally-immersed children – and this gives us many reasons to be optimistic about the impact of technology on childhood,’ William began.
He then went on to say: ‘What we cannot do, however, is pretend that the impact of digital technology is all positive or, indeed, even understood.’
‘I am afraid to say that, as a parent, I believe we have grounds for concern.’
‘I entered adulthood at the turn of the millennium. The generation of parents that Catherine and I are a part of had understood the world of mobile phones, the internet, email, and the like for some time. We had every reason to feel confident’ William continued.
He described the power of technology now as ‘alarming’ when it comes to parenting.
‘My alarm does not come from childhood immersion in technology per se’ William explained. ‘My alarm comes from the fact that so many parents feel they are having to make up the rules as they go along.’
‘We have put the most powerful information technology in human history into the hands of our children – yet we do not yet understand its impact on adults, let alone the very young.’
Prince William then went on to lay out plans for what is being done to tackle these issues with organisations like Cyber Bullying Taskforce.
‘What we show when we gather on days like today is that solutions to our challenges are possible when we work together’ he concluded.
What do you think? Are you concerned about the impact technology is having on your children? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.