Young kids should not have smartphones
June 5, 2018
Yes, young kids should not have smartphones
Smartphones are taking over the world and becoming infused in the daily lives of young children. Kids spanning from 7-years-old to 12-years-old are already using smartphones and this epidemic needs to be stopped.
A study in 2012 shows that kids on average received iPhones at 12, but that figure has now has dropped to 7-years-old. I find this so intriguing how a kid that young needs a phone like that. At their age, I believe that kids should only need a slide or a flip phone, like many other older teens and adults had in their younger years. It serves the same purpose as a smartphone, but the only difference is that it is not as ‘cool’ or fun to use.
There are two ways that this argument can play out. The parents do not give a smartphone to their child because they believe that the child is too young and not at the age level were they are mature enough to handle it. On the other hand, you could say that age is just a number and that maturity does not have to do with the age, but with the person. This might sound logical, but smartphones are the leading distraction to kids studies in schools and being mature enough to have a smartphone won’t stop them from going on it all the time as spending time on a smartphone can become an addiction.
About 50 percent of children said they were addicted to their phones and 59 percent of parents say that their kids spend too much time on their phones. What is the point of parents giving their kids a phone when all day long they will ignore the parents and spent less time with them?
One risk is that, in the prefrontal cortex, where the brain controls impulse, does not stop developing until mid-20s. This is why many children have a lack impulse control.
Another risk is about 56% of parents said they have texted while driving and 51 percent of the kids say that they see their parents on the phone while driving. This habit of texting while driving most likely has derived from getting a phone at a younger age when they were not mature enough to have one. Later on, they expose their child to this and then the child learns to do the same things. This can cause major risks in their lives if they do not change.
Like they say, old habits die hard.
No, young kids should have smartphones
While many associate smartphones with video games, social media, and inappropriate content, the basic features of a smartphone can help a child remain safe. In addition, having the special features of a smartphone can help children keep up in school and learn about technology.
Instead of focusing on games and other bells and whistles included in smartphones, it is important to first think about safety. The basic use of a smartphone is to call and text, which can be helpful for young children. Their parents can reach them at all times and they are able to contact their parents as well. Teaching children how to call for help at a young age may help them feel and be safer. In addition, stress may be lifted off of parents if they can contact their children easily and quickly.
Many smartphones have safety features that can be helpful for parents and their young children. An example is the Find my iPhone feature on Apple’s iPhone. This feature allows one device to track another, which can help parents literally keep track of their kids at all times. In an emergency, having a smartphone that can call 911 or their parents is convenient and can help a child feel safer. Another feature many smartphones include is navigation. If they are lost, children can use this to find their way anywhere.
Many smartphones are coming out with features for parents concerned about what their children are doing online. For example, parental features can allow parents to filter what their child’s activity on their phones. This can help parents ensure that their children are only viewing appropriate content. The iPhone has many parental control features, such as restrictions on certain features, preventing access to certain websites, and control of their privacy settings.
Another concern some may have is that kids will become addicted to their phones. However, some smartphone companies have started to address this, and Apple has announced new features will be added to their smartphones that will measure the amount of time spent on them. It even allows parents to limit the amount of time their kids can spend on their phones. This gives parents a log of their child’s phone usage and they can even set a maximum time that can be spent in each app.
Technology is quickly becoming a crucial part of life, and introducing it at a young age can be beneficial. Many schools, including Glen Rock High School, have made efforts to incorporate more technology in their education. Some homework assignments require the use of technology, and at times even the use of a smartphone. If a child has access to this tool it can help them perform better in school. The benefits of these tools can also extend outside the classroom and motivate kids to start their own projects.
Learning how to use technology at a young age is also important because of how dominant technology has become. There are many jobs based entirely around technology and at the least, many jobs require knowing how to use a computer. Teaching kids to be tech savvy at a young age could help them become more competitive and creative.