Archbishop Eamon Martin, the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, has advised parents against buying smartphones for their children as a Holy Communion present, saying there are “an awful lot of people” who would exploit them.
He also expressed concern at the ‘selfie’ generation’s need for instant gratification, which manifests in them constantly checking their phone for ‘likes’ and obsessing over photographs.
He added the Church should recognise that digital technology, and especially social media, is now a permanent part of the life and identity of the majority of young people, and increasingly so, of all of us
Speaking to the Irish Independent at the ‘Faith in the Digital World’ seminar in Maynooth, Archbishop Martin said parents sometimes feel pressured into buying a mobile with internet access for their young children as a Communion present but he warned that there are people out there who would exploit young people and parents have to be aware of that and be sensible.
He also spoke on the massive impact of “screen culture” on young people and their exploitation online through the harvesting of their data, identity theft and scams.