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28th Mar 2024

‘One of the saddest sights’ — Kirstie Allsop kicks off major debate about kids using iPads

Jody Coffey


What are your thoughts?

British TV presenter Kirstie Allsop has sparked a debate about children using iPads.

To her 432,000 followers, Kirstie Allsop described a child in public on a smart device as one of the ‘saddest sights’, prompting a discussion of the topic.

After posting her thoughts on X (formerly Twitter), the Location, Location, Location presenter has received hundreds of replies.

“One of the saddest sights is a child sitting in a pram with pastel coloured ipad in a case which attaches to the pram, so your [sic] know it’s theirs & they are often on it,” Kirstie wrote.

“Yesterday a little girl walked past me on our road, no more than 7, she was glued to what was clearly her phone.”

The mum-of-two continued her stance in the comments.

“The data tells us devices are damaging. Tiny kids in prams do not need ‘screen time’, kids walking down the street do not need screen time either.”

This post has drawn heavy discourse on the use of screens in children, with sides both for and against.

For screens

Many users felt Kirstie’s tweet reduced a whole day of parenting down to a singular moment where she witnessed the child on their iPad.

“I think it’s very easy to jump to conclusions on why this was the case,” one user wrote.

“We know nothing of that parent or child’s situation or needs and really shouldn’t judge based on that fifteen-second snapshot.”

One user felt the broadcaster’s tweet lacked understanding or information.

“You’ve no clue about that particular child’s daily routine, yet you’ve jumped to a narrative based on a couple of seconds observation of said random child,” another disagreed.

“Should the child’s parents lug around 15 different books and activities or is it better to download onto a tablet?”

Meanwhile, others have highlighted how necessary screens are in some moments or for children with additional needs.

“You do you! Bloody hell why are you judging people? Child could have additional needs. A child may not like pram and only way the parent can get anywhere… just stop!” one urged.

While another wrote: “I normally agree but on this occasion, I can’t. My daughter who’s 2, has a cheap old tablet, but we use this when we go shopping or food shopping for desperate measures. I have severe anxiety so this helps me when I need it and I’m on my own with her. It’s not always bad.

Against screens

While many users came to the defense of parents who employ screens to placate or entertain their children, others shared the same views as Kirstie when it comes to screens in general.

“It’s utterly ridiculous. My 3 boys are all at secondary and do the majority of homework via a smartphone,” one admitted.

“None of them seem to have any knowledge of how to operate a proper computer from school. We limit screen time where possible and it really does help!”

Many users also expressed frustration with the emphasis schools place on smart device projects, homework, and reading.

“Unfortunately, most secondary schools use homework and timetable apps, so kids need them once they start secondary school,” one said.