I’M a confirmed Luddite but in recent months I’ve been making strides in my use of technology. While initially suspicious of the concept of wireless headphones, fearing that I’d spend more time picking them up off the floor than bopping to my favourite tunes, I’ve found them to be a complete game-changer.

I’ve also finally got round to getting a contactless debit card.

It was a source of great amusement to my friends and family that I put it off for so long, preferring the familiarity of having to punch in a four-digit PIN.

And – not to brag – but I’ve also become a bit of a dab hand at Mario Kart. Who needs to learn to drive a real car when you can zoom around in a submarine while assuming the persona of Donkey Kong?

Last week, my daughter and I took another bold step into the modern world. She’s eight and for obvious reasons I’m reluctant to let her loose with a phone of her own, given all the safeguarding issues that would present.

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But she’s getting older and there are occasions – like when she stays with her dad for the weekend, or attends classes and clubs during the week – where it would be handy to be able to keep in touch.

My friend recommended a watch, specifically designed for kids in that mid-age technology bracket that she’s in. It has no internet and no social media, but it does allow her to make and receive calls and exchange text messages with contacts I pre-approve in the app.

She has three people in her address book so far: me, her dad and her auntie. Each of us was subject to a bombardment of excitable, emoji-filled text messages in the days after it arrived.

On Saturday, she was with her dad and I was looking forward to receiving messages telling me about all the exciting things she was getting up to.

No such luck, alas – she left me hanging. I even did the dreaded double message but she was too busy and important to reply. I was basically ghosted by my own daughter. These are trying times indeed.

While she was getting her first foothold into the world of technology, I was making a leap of my own –face first, into the addictive time-stealer that is TikTok.

It’s the social media platform the young ones love. After losing many hours to it over the last few weeks, I can understand why. It’s not as fighty as Twitter and nowhere near as angst-ridden as Facebook.

The algorithm learns your preferences terrifyingly quickly and shows you short videos geared towards your interests. I get a lot of food videos, animals doing cute things and kids being cheeky. It also directs me towards content I never knew I cared about but have since learned that I cannot live without.

The National:

There’s a guy on there whose entire output is him cleaning swimming pools and hot tubs. It is mesmerising to watch brown, algae-filled sludge being transformed into sparkling crystal-clear water over the course of a 30-second video.

Not only is it wonderfully calming to watch, I now have something I can legitimately add to the hobbies section on job application forms.

But like any social media platform, TikTok does have an ugly side. There are parents who post videos designed to attract likes that use the distress of their small children to get them there.

So-called “challenges” where you film your toddler’s reaction to various indignities: like having food thrown at them or scaring them for no reason other than the parent knows it will attract views.

It’s horrible and I hope the TikTok algorithm will quickly learn that I’m not a fan of narcissistic parents toying with their kid’s emotions for attention.

These horrible “challenges” put me in mind of an Irish couple I read about recently who found fame documenting their children’s lives on YouTube.

After they were criticised over their use of cold showers as a punishment for their two-year-old daughter they deleted their YouTube channel and ceased filming.

Thankfully, fame-hungry internet parents are the exception, not the rule. Most of us are rightly worried about the impact of technology and social media on the mental health and well-being of our children.

But I take comfort in the fact that young people today are a lot more internet savvy than their parents are.

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They don’t need to experience the dangers of the internet to understand them. They are growing up learning about internet safety alongside navigating it for themselves – something that their parents didn’t have when they first ventured out into the online world.

I want my daughter to utilise the many benefits of digital spaces while being mindful of their risks.

But I do find it re-assuring that she only managed a few days of excitable texting before putting the device down in favour of all the fun to be had in the real world.