Kate Winslet says children being harmed by social media
Parents are “losing control” of their children to social media, award-winning British actor Kate Winslet has said, adding the she has banned her own from using such sites over fears their self-esteem is being damaged.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the Revolutionary Road star, 40, said parents should confiscate technology from their offspring – who she said may turn to social media for validation from strangers.
Winslet said social media made her blood boil and said it has a huge impact on young women’s self-esteem. “Because all they ever do is design themselves for people to like them. And what comes along with that? Eating disorders,” she said, adding: “We don’t have any social media in our house.”
The actor, shot to fame after the success of Titanic in the late 90s, revealed that when her daughter Mia had asked for an Instagram account, the photo-sharing site, she told her daughter that sharing photos is like giving away memories.
Winslet would not however put her name to a campaign on parenting in the digital age saying: “Stars get slagged off for getting behind causes” and that she did not want to look like a celebrity who thinks “they’ve got the answers”.
The mother of three called for parents to take mobile devices out of the hands of their young. “Let your kids climb trees,” she said, adding the suggestion: “Play Monopoly!”
In the wide-ranging interview given ahead of the release of Steve Jobs, a new film starring Michael Fassbender and directed by Danny Boyle, Winslet said she and her husband, Ned Rocknroll, distance themselves from their mobile phones by charging them downstairs at night.
Winslet added she was troubled by the addictive quality of the devices that Jobs created. People “practically kiss them goodnight” she said.
Her harshest criticism was reserved for families who are glued to mobile devices when out together. She said: “You go to a cafe and grown-ups are at one end of the table and children the other, on devices, not looking up.”
“They go into a world, and parents let them. I’m going to get slagged off for saying this, but it takes every member of a family to be a family, and there are too many interruptions these days — and devices are a huge interruption,” Winslet added.