An innovative “Chicks Not Clicks” program seeks to reduce smartphone addiction by assigning needy baby chickens to gadget-obsessed school children.
So-called “gadget addiction” has emerged as a major societal in Indonesia. According to a report released by a British ad agency in early 2019, an average citizen of the rapidly-developing southeast Asian nation uses the internet for over 8.5 hours a day – fifth-highest in the world. There's now a medical term to describe people's fear of being without a mobile phone: Nomophobia.
Internet overuse is by no means exclusive to Indonesia; it's a global problem. The city of Bandung in West Java, at least, is taking action locally. Mayor Oded M. Danial's “Chicks Not Clicks” plan is an innovative attempt to nip the problem in the bud by focusing on children. The program's trial run will provide locally-sourced baby chicks to students from a dozen local elementary and junior high schools, with plans in place to expand city-wide if it's deemed to be a success.
Participating students will be given instructions on how to raise their assigned chicks, along with small coops in which to keep them. The kids are expected to devote time before and after school toward the care and welfare of their fluffy yellow charges. “This is so that children will be preoccupied and that they won't be too focused on their gadgets,” stated Mayor Danial. As an added incentive, students who raise the largest chickens will be awarded prizes such as bicycles.
While some students say they still find it more interesting to play with their smartphones, others are excited by the thought of raising and eventually eating the fully-grown chickens. Not exactly a win-win... more like “winner winner chicken dinner.” (via NHK World and Coconuts Jakarta)