Smartphone addiction is harming the relationship between cats (Maine Coons!) and kids

Maine Coons are great companions for children of all ages. They are a great influence in teaching kids empathy, compassion and taking responsibility for a companion animal who is dependent on human caregiving. 

Smartphone addiction harming the relationship between cats (Maine Coons!) and kids
Smartphone addiction harming the relationship between cats (Maine Coons!) and kids. Image in the public domain. Note: she needs a lesson in how to pick up a Maine Coon! Don't basically 😊.

Kids learn a lot from all domestic cats and I'd like to think especially the Maine Coon as they have great characters which seem ideal for interactions with children. The Maine Coon is famously suited to form a strong bong with a child. Their generally tolerant nature and calm demeanour makes them well suited for children.

Maine Coons can be the same size as children (see above)! This may help to encourage respect for cats at an early age which is carried forward into adulthood.

Those are the potential benefits for a child when bonding with a Maine Coon or any other cat. BUT (a big loud 'but') arguably parents are mad to give children under 16-years-of-age smartphones as they become addictive. Their addictive nature can create a toxic cycle of anxiety and mental illnesses.

The damaging nature of social media on smartphones is in stark contrast to the healing and welfare benefits of regular interactions with a Maine Coon particularly for kids who might be emotionally fragile or even autistic.

I am told by the website Exploding Topics that children in the United States spend 8 hours and 39 minutes in front of their smartphone screens EVERY DAY (2021). This is an extraordinary statistic.

There is little time left after schooling and other activities to spend quality time with the family Maine Coon.

Some of the other statistics concerning children's mental health in the US and across the world are equally disturbing. 

CDC in the US report that 22 percent of high school students have "seriously considered suicide"! That is more than one in five. This is up from 16 percent in 2016.

The trend is particularly bad for girls according to the research carried out by Juliet Samuel writing in The Times today. More than 50% of girls reported 'feeling persistently sad or hopeless today compared to about 33% in 2011.

Globally in 17 countries, suicide for girls are up 40% since 2014 (The Economist). 

Covid made things worse. But Samuel blames the dreaded smartphone for the deteriorating mental health of our children.

The apps on smartphones trigger addictive dopamine brain patterns as seen in brain imaging studies. They 'render us distracted, anxious and depressed' according to Samuel.

Samuel wants to see a 'new regulatory regime' to control smartphone usage. This would include a ban for under 16s. Phones for kids would not be smartphones. They'd be stripped down to phone calls and approved apps such as maps.

It is becoming clearer that smartphones are dangerous unless managed by children which means managed by their parents. Smartphones can be great and useful but the user needs to ensure that the device works for them not against them.

I'd recommend that while we are waiting for governments to get their act together to create the regulations mentioned that children spend more time with the family's Maine Coon.

And if you haven't got a Maine Coon in the family, that should be remedied as soon as possible. 😉💔

RELATED: What do you need to do to buy a Maine Coon cat?


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