No, young kids should have smartphones

by Madelyn Willoughby, Staff Writer

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.