A Sicilian playground bans mobile phones. It has become the first public space in Italy to ban children and adults from using their smartphones.
The play area at Balestrate, a small town outside Palermo, has put up signs banning phones. It also urges users to put them into a cupboard by the entrance.
The project aims to stop people young and old chatting via the Web and using social media. It is a product of the Balestrate parents’ association. “This playground,” explains the project’s creator Riccardo Vescovo, “has the aim of sending a message to parents and children, of attention and care for public goods.
“Not using social media and smartphones means reflecting on the importance of the reality which surrounds us, and rediscovering the authentic value of life. To use the words of Pope Francis, it’s an invitation to be more social and less on social media”.
Children better at following rules!
The play area has hundreds of visitors every day. The Balestrate parents’ association is looking to help recreate the bond between generations, as well as to take care for public property.
“It’s a great novelty for children and parents,” says parents’ association President Piera Testaverde. “The little ones are very careful to follow the ban, and for grown-ups, too, it’s a pleasure to take a break from technology for a few hours.
“We’ve even put in some old-time games so that kids and their grandparents can play together”.