Yes, young kids should not have smartphones

by Mary Andreou, Staff Writer

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.