I used to think that Taiwan was less archaic and draconian than the Chinese mainland. Turns out I was wrong.
Taiwan's ETTV reports that last Friday, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, think Congress, approved new regulations that would fine parents of children under the age of 18 are using electronic devices for extended periods of times. The heaviest fine that could be levied is $1595.
The new regulations, citing healthcare experts, have the government setting limits for youngster using electronic devices, or as they call it in Taiwan, 3C products. The regulation is light on the exact time limits that should be set, but the wording goes, "parents of children using electronic products exceeding reasonable times shall be fined anywhere from 10,000 New Taiwan Dollars to 50,000 NTD."
A lot of the impetus for the new regulation is based on video games and gaming on mobile devices!
So what is a suitable amount of time? According to experts, children under 2 shouldn't be using anything with a screen to begin with, and children 3 to 18 should be kept to 30-minute sessions. How this will be enforced, no one knows.
Right now, public reaction in Taiwan is negative. People don't like the new regulations. Some see the merit, some see it as the government overstepping its boundaries. The good thing right now is that there's no real way to enforce this.
In the news video, the first woman interviewed complains that the new regulation is impossible to enforce and violates personal privacy. The second person holding the child said that the idea is right, but doesn't know how the government plans to enforce it, or how they'll know when the kids turn on their devices. The last person interviewed, an eye doctor, says that since the advent of smartphones and tablets, there has been an upswing in the number of corrective eye surgeries. The doctor said that he believes with the way things are, there will be more people with vision problems in the future.
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Eric is a Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him @FatAsianTechie@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie.