In a small corner of the internet a campaign to give youngsters a smartphone-free childhood is gathering pace.
Concerned by the social media juggernaut hurtling towards their offspring, parents of primary-school pupils are uniting in the hope of challenging the social norm of having a mobile phone at 11.
Worried families are said to be joining the people-powered movement in their droves.
Amid Children’s Mental Health Week and Tuesday’s Safer Internet Day - they are talking loud and proud about their desire to hold off putting the internet into young hands in the hope of forcing a cultural shift.
And as a parent with one child already nose-deep into a phone screen – I think they’re right.
In the last few years becoming a tween seems to have come with the expectation of a phone and a sim card full of data.
Perhaps its turning double digits, maybe it’s the impending switch to secondary school - but for children turning 10 or 11 it’s definitely become a perceived rite of passage.
In fact, for the offspring I’ve not yet let loose in the land of 4G they would have you believe they're a social pariah, an outcast, And that if I don’t soon dispatch a device in their direction their life will be ruined.
And yet – I am increasingly of the impression that in 20 years from now society will be scratching its head and questioning why we gave under 16s such uncontrolled access to the internet at all.
Rather like smoking in the 60s – we know better now but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
The digital world is incredible, when used for good. But it can also be a dark place that science tells us poses a threat to developing brains or those who are vulnerable.
Just this week the mum of murdered teen Brianna Ghey has called for better social media safeguarding. Esther Ghey wants a ban on children under 16 from accessing social media apps on smartphones and for search technology to flag inappropriate material to parents.
A damning report, released Monday, says there has been an ‘appalling decline’ in child health with children’s increasingly fragile mental health among the reasons.
A viral reel from the actress Julia Roberts is also re-circulating - in which she admits her feelings were hurt when people criticised her appearance in a particular photo despite being a 50-year-old woman. ‘But what if I was 15, that would be just devastating’ she ponders.
For the one child I’ve granted a pass to the world wide web to – I’m occasionally frustrated at how easily I caved.
And despite all the parental controls, profanity filters and iron-clad settings I think I’ve installed I’m not naive enough to think I’ve cracked it. And if I have, it won’t be for long. Trying to stay ahead of the curve is a job I wish I’d never started - or delayed at least.
Very often we wait for government to bring in the big guns. Take the impending ban on disposable vapes – there will be parents of teens breathing a sigh of relief that they’ve now got some support in trying to keep the cheap, colourful devices out of their children’s mouths.
But when it comes to the tech corporations it may have to be parent power all the way.
“It feels like we all know this is a bad decision for our kids” wrote Daisy Greenwell this week – one of the campaigners hoping to hit the brakes on planting smartphones into the hands of pre-teens.
“We still all stumble into it because everyone else is, and it’s too hard not to follow suit.”