Google India head Sanjay Gupta said that parental attitude towards mobile use of kids had taken a sudden and dramatic change but he said the obligation to keep the internet safe for children should not be lost sight of.
He was delivering the keynote address on 'Digital-Led 2020: The New Normal' at ManoramaOnline's virtual digital summit Techspectations on Friday. Gupta said video conferencing had witnessed a massive rise in usage, especially for education, after the pandemic-induced shutdown. “The pandemic has forced parents, students and educators to stay home, impacting 33 crore children,” he said.
This, Gupta said, had brought about a radical shift in the attitude of parents. “Parents who once used to strictly restrict the mobile time of their kids are now encouraging them to use smart phones,” he said. It is suddenly as if mobile phones are good for children.
Though this has had a huge impact on shifting to digital in the country, Gupta is not particularly enthusiastic about virtual classes. As a stopgap measure during a mighty disruption in life, it is fine. “But the world is still physical. There is no substitute to meeting people. The kids, especially the four-year-old, the first-time schoolers, have spent a year stuck in home. We need them to get out and socialise and experience life. We need to get back to the old normal," he said.
Gupta said the onus is on the technology creators and content creators to ensure that the internet is safe for our kids.
Education in general, not just for kids, is happening on YouTube in a big way. And Gupta said it was one of the fastest growing verticals. In this context, he said it was also important that technology creators make sure that online money fraud was prevented.