I am looking to get a phone for my child, but would like her to not be able to connect her phone via WiFi to the internet, just due to social distraction that comes with it. I don’t wan’t to get her a flip phone as a smartphone has features a dumb phone just doesn’t have.
Anyone got any experience with this and how best to achieve this either by physically removing the Wifi connector (Fairphone 1 or via software later models)?
I have no technical option to offer you.
Your motives to protect your child may be noble but you’re on your way to chain her by cutting of connections to the world.
Either give her a fully functional phone or don’t.
Thanks mate for your immediate but unhelpful response.
My question wasn’t if my child should have a “fully function” phone, she decided by herself not to want internet on her phone after seeing all her friends disappear in this online world. She and also myself prefer real connection rather than an online one’s. She just want certain features a smartphone has.
Not a reply to the proximate problem (wifi disabled), but maybe helpful later when the kid hopefully has become more resilient to distraction, and the weight shifts to prevention of unwanted content:
a) You can set the phone to a filtering DNS resolver. There are many; search the web for “child-safe dns resolver”.
b) you could filter DNS directly on the smartphone through its hosts list. An excellent source is Steven Black’s page. Here you can add your own blacklist – maybe that’s enough to prevent the worst social distraction? Use the list with an app to update it regularly.
(I use Black’s lists on all devices and it’s a different world!)
I know this isn’t helpful, but just food for thought:
You can’t solve educational challenges with technical solutions.
Either your kid is mature/intelligent enough to self-regulate, or all the technical barriers you will put in place are just wasted time/money. Don’t forget you can surf the Internet through a data connection too. I’m posting this using my phone as a hotspot - No WiFi required.
Just teach your kid how to live in the world she was born to, that’s your job as a parent. Don’t try to wiggle out of this by using some half-baked magical “solution”.
My kid is almost 17 years old and she doesn’t want a smartphone with WiFi access, but want’s it for other features, things a dumb phone just does not have. It is not me forcing her (I do have a smartphone for myself), but as a parent I do respect her decision and I help her with the research as it can be overwhelming (especially when you get “educational parenting” advices you didn’t ask for).
But what is a Smartphone without Internet access? Not much more than a dumb phone. So I still don’t understand the reason. And with 17 she is not able to just not hit the WiFi button, when it is switched off? So she wants you as ‘Administrator’ without your permission she can’t just switch WiFi on?
I don’t know of a way to completely remove WiFi, it’s on the core module (at least on the FP4).
The closest to that would probably be building a kernel without WiFi support, but that would make OTA updates very annoying, which I assume you still would want to do?!
I personally use the offline version of TimeLimit.io (Website|Play Store|F-Droid) to keep myself in check.
There’s an option to lock down parts of apps (Activities), so it might be possible to just block the WiFi dialoge, otherwise completely locking down the settings app might work.
Why does the reason matter? This is a question about how to accomplish it, not a philosophical discussion why someone would want / need it.
Edit: Blocking the Settings app isn’t enough, the quick settings tiles can still be used to add a Wifi network.
The reason is that my daughter wants some features of a smartphone (good camera to take pictures, easy way of typing when texting and yes also she likes the look of the phone) she can’t have this with a dumb phone, or at least I couldn’t find one. For personal reason and her mental health she doesn’t want the phone to able to access the internet and you are probably not aware of different kind of addiction. And the reasons are not important for the technical question. There is a rise in teenagers who want to ditch smartphones but still want a phone and in case of my daughter she wants it in a specific design. There are plenty phones out like that (Gabb Phone, Wise Phone, BoringPhone, Light Phone) but there are not available in Europe.