Phones for Kids

Lexi Ariete, Contributor

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Nowadays, it is very common to see an eight-year-old with the newest phone. There is no correct age to get a phone. Some families let children get phones at a certain age. Other make their child pay for it themselves. However, I believe it is a major problem to have a child under the age of thirteen own a phone.

Every year, there is a new phone released to the public. Kids think that it is necessary to own the newest phone. Kids and teens often think that their phones relate to their social status. If a phone is not handled with care, phones get ruined.

In my opinion, when a child is younger than thirteen they should only own a phone for emergencies; such as a flip phone. Flip phones are easy for parents that need to call their children for an emergency, or vice versa and flip phones have no distracting apps. There is no reason for a child that is seven, or eight to be having an iPhone. A child at the age of eight would still be under the age requirement for social media platforms.

Back in the early 2000’s, it was common to see a child with a flip phone. In that circumstance, most used it to call parents or guardians. Now, most children own the newest iPhone. In addition, it is not uncommon for children to install social media on their phones without parental consent; which can lead to problems. Social media can be used as a  platform for adults with bad intentions. When such and adult sees a child on Instagram, they can take advantage of the child. When children are given phones, parents need to know what apps their child has. If the parent does not regulate the child’s actions online, personal information of the child is prone to get out. Having a phone must come with well-rounded maturity.

Getting a phone comes with responsibility. Sometimes, children do not realize the worth of their phone. Children need to keep track of the location of their devices. Strangers can persuade them to leak personal information, without them knowing what they are sharing. A child’s mind can be easily manipulated, so the risks of owning social media accounts are a risky approach.

In my opinion, all phones should have a feature where a parent can get access to their child’s phone through their own. For example, parents can see what apps their child installs and if their kids are getting calls or texts from unknown numbers. Security is best when parents are keeping track of their children’s activities on their phone.

Owning a phone as a child can lead to cyberbullying. If the child goes to school, phone numbers can be given out to friends. If cyberbullying does occur, the situation can be overwhelming for a child. Moreover, children who are being cyberbullied will be less likely to be open to their parents about their situation. 

GrowingWireless stated that fifty-six percent of kids (ages eight through twelve) have a phone and seventy percent of kids hide online activity from parents. I believe that parents should stop giving phones to kids younger than the age of thirteen because young children are vulnerable to the online world. Even when given a phone, parents should have trust in their kids to be safe online. Parents should track their child’s activity online and assure that nothing dangerous happens. Children with phones need to be responsible and have parent guidance in order to use their phone correctly. 

http://www.growingwireless.com/get-the-facts/quick-facts

 

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