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2014年8月15日 (金)

(社説)子供とネット 仲間の輪をもっと広く

August 14, 2014
EDITORIAL: Online relationships a very one-sided thing
(社説)子供とネット 仲間の輪をもっと広く

There must be many parents in Japan who lament the time their children spend on smartphones while they could be doing other things during the summer break.
 せっかくの夏休みなのに、うちの子はスマホばっかりいじって……と気をもんでいる親も多いだろうか。

The education board of Kasuga city in Fukuoka Prefecture this summer called for a ban on children using their smartphones at night. The board is concerned that Internet addiction could disrupt the children's daily routine.
 この夏、福岡県春日市など複数の教育委員会が「夜間スマホ禁止」を呼びかけた。ネット依存による生活リズムの乱れを心配してのことだ。

Adults tend to think that children who get hooked on Internet surfing have trouble developing normal relationships with others. But that is not necessarily the case.
 ネットにはまるのは、現実世界で人間関係を築くのが苦手な子。大人はそう考えがちだが、必ずしもそうではない。

Most children use the Internet to communicate with friends and acquaintances, such as classmates and other members of their school clubs, after the school day is over.
 大半の子は、ネットの中でも学級や部活動など昼間の仲間とつながっている。

The Internet offers children the opportunity to stay in touch with their pals all the time, no matter where they are. Many children are unable to stop their online communications with friends because they fear doing so will damage their friendships. The problem, then, is that these children are stuck in a "Catch-22" situation.
24時間どこにいても、つながることができてしまう。友人に気を使うあまり会話を打ち切れない。むしろ、人間関係が過剰になっていることが問題なのだ。

There have also been cases in which exchanges on Line and other messaging applications led to serious incidents like suicides caused by bullying, or even murder.
 通信アプリLINEなどでのやり取りから、いじめ自殺やけんか殺人に発展する。そんな事件もときどき起きている。

For many children, the greatest risk posed by their online communications is not the possibility of encountering strangers with nefarious intent, but rather pressure from their usual friends to conform.
 多くの子にとって、ネット利用で危険が切実なのは「見知らぬ大人」との遭遇より、「いつもの仲間」の同調圧力だ。

Most Japanese high school students and about half of all junior high school students have their cellphones or smartphones, according to a survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Since each device is the private property of the individual, it is difficult to enforce a ban or restrict the possession of smartphones in trying to deal with the problem.
 総務省の調べでは、高校生は大半、中学生も半数が携帯電話やスマホを持っている。個人で持つ物でもあり、禁止や制限では対処しきれない。

The Internet is like the automobile. Most adults drive. While driving entails the risk of an accident, and cars are often used in carrying out crimes, the automobile is basically a tool that enriches people’s life. The Web has made it easier for junior and high school students to interact with people of different schools, ages and areas.
 ネットは車に似ている。いずれ大人になれば大半の人が使うものだし、事故や事件の危険はある一方、基本的には生活を豊かにしてくれる。中高生らも学校や学年、地域の垣根を超えた交流活動がしやすくなった。

This being the case, perhaps parents should make greater efforts to help their children learn how to avoid potential dangers while using the Internet. We suggest that each family should establish certain rules, such as making children use their smartphone in the living room while everybody else is present.
 ならば、少しずつ使いながら安全な使い方を身につけさせる工夫を各家庭でしたい。「スマホは居間で使う」と親子で約束するのもいい。

Some experts advise parents to use the same messaging applications and social networking sites as those used by their children. Doing so will help parents understand the risks involved and allow them to set an example to their children on where the line should be drawn in revealing private information or expressing personal thoughts and feelings.
 親もわが子と同じ通信アプリや交流サイトを使ってみては、と勧める専門家もいる。注意すべき点がわかる。ネットでどこまで自分をさらし、ぶつけてよいか手本を示す意味もある。

Children feel they are under enormous pressure to gain acceptance from those they view as their peers. Despite this desperation to be accepted, peer pressure often comes into play and some children end up being ignored and excluded by the group.
 同調圧力とは、いわば身内でいる限りは優しくする心性だ。身内でないとみなせば途端に排除や無視をする。

Sadly, this kind of narrow-mindedness is not uncommon in our society. Adults also display this same tendency.
残念ながら大人も含め、そういう不寛容さは社会に根強くある。

Children need to develop relations with others outside their schools and clubs to avoid being confined to their usual circle of friends and trying to live up to the expectations of others.
 いつもの仲間の輪の中に閉じこもって、それだけに振り回されないためには、学校や部活と違う知り合いを作り、もう一つの世界をもつのがいい。

We urge children to value their private lives and focus more on their own interests.
それには自分の生活を大切にすること、いい意味でわがままになることも必要なのだろう。

Children need to understand that it is a healthy part of a relationship to disagree with others. It doesn't mean disrespect.
 なにより、違うと思うことは「違う」と言っても、相手を否定したことにはならない。

It all comes down to whether families and schools can help children develop this understanding.
家庭や学校で、きちんとそう教えられるかどうか。結局はそこにかかっているに違いない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 14

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