Do kids really need a cellphone? Several questions really underlie this debate:
Is it best for kids to get used to new technologies, including new generation smartphones, in order to more easily keep up with the progression of society?
Should we instead protect them from the concerns of adults and unnecessary stress?
Does it depend on the child, his progression, and his age?
Here are the ten arguments put forth by those against giving cellphones to minors:
- 1. It would make kids grow up too fast. Kids don’t need to have the same preoccupations as adults, they have plenty of time to feel stressed, even harassed, by all sorts of ringtones. Boredom, for everyone but especially for a child, is important, so they can grow up in peace.
- 2. Mobile phones would inevitably lead to superficial relationships. Kids would rely more on social networks and less on direct confrontations, which for them leads to a suppression and lack of personal investment.
- 3. Some assert that these devices damage our kids’ development. They’d be inclined to send texts all the time, at the expense of their schooling, as proved by the ban on using this kind of product in schools.
- 4. It would increase the resk of dependence on virtual connections. A child needs to learn to make decisions by himself, without asking his virtual friends on Facebook, for example.
- 5. The risk of becoming absent-minded in his everyday life is large. If you place a smartphone in a child’s hands, he is likely to play games or write messages a lot, at the risk of bringing about a lack of concentration.
- 6. Some parents fear cybercrime. Putting a smartphone in the hands of your child is giving him access to the internet and thus to temptations of all sorts, which some ill-intentioned people know how to take advantage of.
- 7. It would be promoting leisure rather than self-control. For some, a smartphone is synonymous with distraction and carelessness. A child should instead think, develop himself, and reflect on his own condition.
- 8. Smartphones have too many unnecessary features. A smartphone today doesn’t just make calls; it sends text, surfs the web, and gives the user’s geolocation. For many, it’s impossible to know exactly what the phone entrusted to your child contains.
- 9. Parents believe they’re giving their child a means of protecting himself or a means of calling for help. Conversely, the child sees in this device a means of playing games and surfing social networks.
- 10. A child should not have the ability to avoid the surveillance of his parents. But that’s just what a smartphone offers: it puts in his hands a way to escape but also to elude the eyes of an adult. Who knows what he’ll do with this newly acquired freedom?