When Should Children Receive a Smartphone?

Living 2011/10/19 04:17:12
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As we become more and more enthralled in a new digital era, it gets increasingly difficult to make appropriate decisions when it comes to kids and their involvement in the cutting-edge industry. But we've got to wonder: what is the most appropriate age for a child to get his or her first piece of high tech goodness?

Hey, kids are people too, and they deserve to experience the wonderful world of technology (we're not just talking Angry Birds, guys.) But with all these "app-cessories" and digitally enhanced toys coming out, it looks like the industry is making a real push for tech-literate toddlers and elementary students, forcing parents to decide how they will introduce their children to it.

Safety and convenience is a huge issue. We know tons of parents who grant their kids the luxury of a cell phone -- and sometimes, even a smartphone -- just because they want to be able to get a hold of their kids as quickly as possible. So, we totally get it. However, giving children access to a phone or the Internet could open them up to a world of dangers.

It's a tough choice with no right or wrong answer, but every parent from here on out will have to make it.

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  • NatAlex23 2011/10/19 06:44:30
    Young children (12 or under)
    They should have one in utero. And if that's not possible, then it shows how flawed we are as humans. Technology is the single most powerful thing in the universe and should be treated better than anything else.
    I'm married to my phone. My laptop is my mother. My television is my cousin. And I wouldn't have it any other way. People have flaws and emotions. Technology is perfect. Any imperfections you may mention are caused by the imperfections of the person using it. Why should children not be exposed to perfection at an early age?

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  • ReasonableMind 2012/08/27 15:22:08 (edited)
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Children should receive a smartphone when they have a job and enough money to buy one and pay for their monthly plan. Kids need to learn how to communicate with real people, not through text messages.
  • Anthony Schliesman 2012/04/11 19:51:36
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Anthony Schliesman
    With the rise of smartphones and children using them these days, less and less are actually working for what they have. They drop their phones and play games on a 400$ device that they could be doing with a 100$ hand held gaming device. They don't appreciate anything that they get. 16 is when they are starting to get jobs and start holding their responsibilities as their own, so I don't see a problem with 16 or older. Though I really disagree with giving a 13 year old a smartphone, my (i believe) 14 year old cousin owns an iPod touch and iPad 2. HOWEVER, he also has been saving up for a toy, phone, or similar item since he was, oh I don't know, 7 or 8, doing chores and such around the house and receiving a small allowance. He earned it, and he carries it around like it's gold and uses it for homeschooling. Some parents end up buying an iPod touch or similar device because they're tired of paying for games on their phone and having their kids eat up the battery. Here's a simple answer: Make them work for one or only let them play in on special occasions so they don't become addicted.

    Sorry for the rant, I'm doing a college paper on this topic, and I figured I'd spill some views here and think through what I'm going to say in my paper. This is a great site for compiling ideas and sharing your own so...
  • Aly Hart 2011/12/29 05:12:57
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Aly Hart
    It would be nice to have one now. :(
  • Adrint 2011/11/24 03:30:18
    Early teens (13-15)
    When they can get a part time job and buy one.
  • ren 2011/11/14 21:04:02
    Young children (12 or under)
    Whenever you want to give them one. Personally if I ever have a child or children i'll give my kids or kids one when they turn 12.
  • Bart 2011/10/25 17:37:14
    Early teens (13-15)
    What does a small kid do with a smartphone
  • vannuck 2011/10/24 17:09:35
    Late teens (16 or older)
    or to be more exact when they are old enough to pay for it themselves
  • JustMe 2011/10/24 07:43:28
    Late teens (16 or older)
    maybe 15 if they show that they are responsible enough
  • kahlilmartin 2011/10/23 14:07:08
    Early teens (13-15)
    I think as a teen that if we have deserved it we should get it. Because in my school i am in beta club 3 high school classes and i hardly ever get in trouble.
  • Pamu 2011/10/23 12:37:43
    Late teens (16 or older)
    late teens when that will be useful for them.
  • Lynn 2011/10/21 18:59:38
    Late teens (16 or older)
    When they are 18 and can buy their own damned smart phone. Stop spoiling your kids!!!
  • SirJim 2011/10/20 19:03:51
    Late teens (16 or older)
    When they show their responsible enough to own one or better yet when they can pay for it out their own pocket. This to me show real responsibility.
  • Tropiceagle33 2011/10/20 14:03:41
    Late teens (16 or older)
    more appropriate
  • Milodic_Mellodi 2011/10/20 04:17:34
    Late teens (16 or older)
    the younger, the worse. don't spoil them till they move out. lol!
  • JoeM~PWCM~JLA 2011/10/20 04:14:36
    Late teens (16 or older)
    you did not have a "when they can afford it on their own" answer.
  • bt sedlock 2011/10/20 04:03:06
    Early teens (13-15)
    bt sedlock
    Just what is a smartphone? If you pardon my ignorance.
  • Zekwolf13 bt sedlock 2011/10/22 15:17:19
    It's like a droid, blackberry, & iphone. They let u access email, facebook, & any other website on the phone.
  • bt sedlock Zekwolf13 2011/11/27 03:50:01
    bt sedlock
    Thanks for the info. At what age do think children should recieve a smartphone? Of course when you are in your early teens you're not a child anymore.
  • Queen B 2011/10/20 02:42:19
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Queen B
    When they can pay for it.
  • philly 2011/10/20 01:55:35
    Early teens (13-15)
    around the teens when their social life starts to thrive and it would be a good way to teach them responsibility.
  • Lizzie Bee *In My Sisters I... 2011/10/19 23:53:42
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Lizzie Bee *In My Sisters I Trust*
    I am fifteen, almost 16 and i just got a smart phone the day before my sophmore year started. My parents switched because i had a crazy busy schedual and they needed to know what was going on. It was all their idea, i wasnt begging for it, i just needed something because mine was completely broken, i would have been completely fine with a flip phone.But they got us all three smart phones. and i only use mine after all my homework is done. and by the time that happens i only have a little while to use it. i was glad to get one, but i could definitely live without it!
  • Ginnaaay 2011/10/19 21:50:14
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Personally, as a teenager, I don't think a teen ever should get a smartphone. They don't need one. Phone - sure. Their own/family computer - in this technical age, makes sense. But a smart phone? The cost alone turns off most parents, and if it gets stolen the thief will get away with much more personal information than with a regular phone. Don't even get me started on the data plan. And, personally, I think it's bad for kids. Instead of getting distracted by a text message, the can get distracted by the internet, too. I understand if the parent is willing to give their child a smartphone if their child is willing to pay the bill, but until then? It's completely unnecessary.
  • martman 2011/10/19 21:27:11
    Early teens (13-15)
    Whatever the age is they should be required to pay for it themselves.
  • Kimmy 2011/10/19 20:51:16
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Oh, you know, when ever you feel ready to let them talk about sex,get abused,blackmailed,stalked or bullied by the person on the other side of the phone, that's when. Or maybe when you feel like the extra pounds and need for glasses do them good.
  • Silvery Slash 2011/10/19 20:15:45 (edited)
    Early teens (13-15)
    Silvery Slash
    I'm fifteen and I'm getting an iPhone. Why? Because I take the train to school and I've only ever owned hand-me-down cell phones that didn't work. I feel like it honestly depends on the kid.
  • émilie✿ 2011/10/19 19:44:54
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Smartphones.. Don't like em, don't care.. But I say older.. A phone should be for emergencies till at least age 16.
  • swp 2011/10/19 19:37:04
    Young children (12 or under)
    If they know how to use a phone responsibly there is no reason for them not to have one, if they (or the family) can afford it.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Freak 2011/10/19 19:35:09
    Early teens (13-15)
    Fullmetal Alchemist Freak
    Any age under 13 is not acceptable.
  • bt sedlock Fullmet... 2011/10/20 04:07:57
    bt sedlock
    Why wouldn't be acceptable in your opinion for any kid under 13 to use a smartphone? If you don't mind me asking.
  • Fullmet... bt sedlock 2012/02/01 20:22:02
    Fullmetal Alchemist Freak
    Because under 13 they are irresponsible and not really ready to handle a smartphone.
  • bt sedlock Fullmet... 2012/02/12 04:13:26
    bt sedlock
  • cher2 2011/10/19 19:19:12
    Early teens (13-15)
    I hit Early Teens in error. I meant to click on Late teens. But, Smart phones are really not necessary. Too much distraction from life for kids. A cell phone is enough at an age earlier than 16. I know that most parents wish kids did not have access to the phone, but there is always that one chance something could be wrong, plus remember parents...it is a great tool for motivation. No behave...no phone !! It works.
  • Lizzie ... cher2 2011/10/19 23:49:21
    Lizzie Bee *In My Sisters I Trust*
    My parents learned that one way to early into the game!
  • bt sedlock cher2 2011/10/20 04:08:47
    bt sedlock
  • relic 2011/10/19 17:51:19
    Young children (12 or under)
    The government requires them to get a Social Security number, give them a phone number too. Both ideas are equally ridiculous.
  • Kevin McInnis 2011/10/19 17:02:26
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Kevin McInnis
    They Should get a smart phone when they can either take care of it or pay for it themselves
  • AbadPerez 2011/10/19 16:36:16
    Early teens (13-15)
    Smartphones can be a great way to keep your kids safe http://cellularkidz.com/cellu...
  • John Smith AbadPerez 2013/01/14 12:07:48
    John Smith
    So can phones that aren't smart phones.
  • runningqrtr 2011/10/19 15:52:39
    Late teens (16 or older)
    Absolutely appropriate if they buy it themselves. They will take much better care of it if they have a vested interest in it. That's why we have to have down payments for cars and houses and why rentals get so destroyed. Exact same concept.
  • Mille peña 2011/10/19 15:47:26
    Early teens (13-15)
    Mille peña
    ooops i meant 16 n older. basically when they start working and knowing what it is to make a dollar.

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