A UCC student took part in a debate on the benefits of technology from a young age as part of a new social experiment and TV show on Virgin Media One.
Final Year student at University College Cork (UCC), Harry McCann was one of the guests on the second episode of the new Virgin Media series ‘Eating with the Enemy’.
The concept of the show is to pair people with opposing views together for a meal.
Each pair discuss different topics and for the Digital Humanities and IT student, the topic of conversation was young people, smartphones and social media.
22-year-old Harry was paired with mother to two teenagers, Olwyn.
Speaking to The Echo, he described the experience as “interesting” and said he had no idea who he was going to be paired with as part of the social experiment.
“While I’ve had the same debate with a few different people…I think it’s interesting to put it in a way that I didn’t know who the person sitting across from me was going to be,” he said.
“Even up until literally, the minute that Olwyn sat down, I had no idea who that person was going to be.”
He described the concept of the show as “two people who have two different sets of views on the same thing who want to learn from each other”.
“That’s what my objective was. It was to learn what somebody else’s viewpoint was on something that I am passionate about and believe I’m knowledgeable about,” he said.
The pair discussed their thoughts on social media and smartphones for young people.
While Olwyn said that neither of her teenage children use social media, Harry discussed some of the benefits to access to technology at a young age.
“I’m a firm believer that access to technology is a good thing even form a young age. I don’t think that small children should have access, but I think as they’re older and enter their teenage years, there’s more benefit than harm, to give them access to technology,” he said.
He said that he appreciated Olwyn’s perspective as a mother to teenagers and while some other conversations on the show were more heated, the pair were happy to hear one another’s opinions.
“The conversation itself was very casual, normal, [it] didn’t feel like there were cameras watching and to be honest, I think that we kind of agreed to disagree on a lot things but we also agreed that it all comes back to education and educating children properly about smartphones.”
'Eating With The Enemy’ is available to view on the Virgin Media Player or on Virgin Media One, Wednesday’s at 9 pm.