These days, owning a smartphone is very much the norm. But what about young children? Do kids just out of primary school really need a flashy iPhone or Blackberry?
When I turned 12 years old, I became the proud owner of a Nokia 3310. But nowadays it’s been banished to a box in the bottom of my wardrobe and replaced with a shiny iPhone 4.
While I love having a smartphone, I would never have dreamt of owning such an expensive device when I was 12. My 10-year-old sister on the other hand, has already been through two, a Nokia Lumia and a Blackberry.
What’s wrong with simple phones for kids?
I don’t disagree with kids owning a phone, quite the contrary; I think it’s important that they have a way to get in touch, should they need to. But does it warrant buying them a phone that costs hundreds of pounds? Last time I checked, the simplest and cheapest of phones still sent texts and made calls.
Granted, life as a 10-year-old today is very different compared to 20 years ago. Technology has advanced at an impressive rate, so it’s only natural for it to be introduced into our lives at a much earlier age.
But as soon as one child at school gets a smartphone, they all want one. When I was at school, kids were more obsessed with Pokémon cards than phones, which in my opinion is a less harmful interest.
‘A 12-year-old with a smartphone? No way!’
Is constant access to the internet and messaging really a good thing at such a young age? And then there’s the issue of money, are parents teaching their kids the value of money by buying them such expensive items? Next thing you know they’ll be wanting the latest Apple MacBook for Christmas…
The debate has already kicked off on our sister site Tech Daily, with Kclark commenting:
‘A 12-year-old with a smartphone… NO WAY!
‘Very few 12-year-olds have the concept of the value of money. It’s just about what they want and being cool. As parents, it’s our job to teach them. I see parents yelling and screaming when they see high phone bills, grades slipping and other unacceptable behaviour, but yet go out and get that kid the latest phone. Sorry my step daughter (12) will be getting a simple phone, no smartphone till she can pay for it.’
So, do you think children should be the proud owners of smartphones? And if so, when’s the right time for them to get one?
From what age is it appropriate for a child to have their own smartphone?
15-17 years old (31%, 333 Votes)
13-14 years old (26%, 280 Votes)
Never - they should be over 18 years old (25%, 272 Votes)
10-12 years old (15%, 156 Votes)
7-9 years old (2%, 20 Votes)
Under 6 years old (1%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,069