How much time should kids and adults spend looking at their smartphones? One city in Indonesia is trying to get kids to spend less time on their phones … by giving them baby chickens instead.
Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia, and some adults are concerned (worried) that young people are “addicted” to their phones. The city of Bandung, near the capital, Jakarta, has given out a dozen chicks to elementary and junior high school students. Mayor Oded Muhammad Danial hopes the program will distract kids from their devices and get them to spend time on other hobbies.
“We are studying this. There will be a program where children will be given chicks to raise. This is the breakthrough,” said the mayor. “This is so that children will be preoccupied, and that they won’t be too focused on their gadgets. We will give them free range chicks.”
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a dozen students were given the small birds. Signs on the cages said, “Please take good care of me.” If the program is successful, 2,000 kids in the area will get their own chicks. Those who raise the largest chickens will be rewarded with prize bicycles.
Mother Yayah Ratnasari liked the idea, saying, “It’s more beneficial for them to take care of chicks than play with smartphones.” Her teenage son, Rabil, disagreed. “It’s more interesting playing with a smartphone,” he said.
It is becoming more and more common for young people to use smartphones. A group called Common Sense Media took a survey about kids’ phone habits in the U.S. and found more than half (53%) own a smartphone by age 11. Would you rather play with a phone or a chick?