On the New Kindle Fire, Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Who Need Parental Controls

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Adults think they’re so smart.

On Thursday, Amazon unveiled new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet, including an HD model and a ‘Paperwhite’ back-lit e-reader (say that two times fast).

The Internet giant also included unique parental controls called ‘Kindle FreeTime,’ which allows parents to limit the time their child spends reading e-books, watching movies and playing apps.

Let’s say a parent only wants their child to play Angry Birds for 30 minutes on a school night. When the time runs out, the screen turns blue and locks up. Game over.

Grown-ups, on the other hand, are free to bury themselves in the Kindle Fire as long as they please.

As a society, we lament the idea of children sitting inside all day slumped over a computer, tablet or game system.

‘Kids should be outside running around and getting fresh air,’ we like to say. ‘It’s not healthy to be addicted to devices.’

Amazon has the right intentions with FreeTime, but it left out one important feature:

Adults need time limits too.

Think about your average day. How often are you staring at some kind of screen (cell phone, TV, computer, GPS, tablet, etc..)? 10 hours? 12 hours? You’re even looking at a screen right now (thanks for reading!)

Because you’re an adult and supposedly know what’s best, you can spend all 24 hours of the day glued to gadgets if you want.

But what makes an eight-year-old so different from a 28 or even 78-year-old?

Nothing.

It would be truly novel for Amazon — and frankly the makers of all the devices we love — to impose time restrictions on adults too. Modern technology is a blessing and has changed our world in more ways that we could ever count.

But it’s not everything. 

Just like kids, grown-ups also deserve time away from our Nooks, HPs and PlayStations. It’s no easy task, but we should strive for a healthy balance between texting/tweeting and going off the grid.

Yes, the idea of Amazon limiting adult access to the Kindle Fire is a pipe dream.

It takes willpower to pull ourselves from the screen and take a walk outside free of devices.

Because in the real world, it’s just you and the ‘power’ button.

And the only adult supervision comes from within.

 

How do you get away from technology? Do you set aside time in the day or just turn off your gadgets when it makes sense?

Comment below, and share your secrets!

 © 2013, Danny Rubin

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