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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Post - Should Kids Have Cell Phones?

As we all gear up to buy our kids Christmas or holiday presents, many people start to this the year for cell phones? I have a guest post today outlining the pros and cons of such a gift.

There are a few topics that always make for some amazingly fierce debates in any social
circle – politics, religion, sports and so on. One question that is also seeing a huge amount of
debate in society is whether kids should have cell phones. Opinion is divided among parents,
teachers and even the children themselves. Most kids seem to want to have cell phones!
There have been plenty of studies on children owning cell phones and most of them point to a
huge majority – 70-75% having cell phones. Children as young as 8 years old are being given
cell phones as gifts by their parents and other family members. The one advantage is that
kids can be tracked with a cell phone and after reading some blogs, on mobile phone tracking
specifically, I realized how important background updating of
location was.

Children perhaps start rather young as far as their comfort with a cell phone goes. Babies will
consider their parents’ cell phones an interesting plaything. Leading software manufacturers
have launched plenty of mobile apps and mobile games targeted specifically for children
stating that it is one way to keep them busy and out of the mom’s hair during the day.
Children will also start looking at their friends owning a mobile phone and then demand
one for themselves. Which brings us back to the question – should kids have cell phones?
Unfortunately there is no easy answer but we could try and weigh the ayes and nays of this

First, the ayes!

Protection for the child – a child with a cell phone can call his or her parents or law
enforcement agencies or any other person they trust for help when and if they find themselves
in a sticky situation. It could be a personal crisis or even something like asking for fire
services but with a cell phone, a child is more secure.

Instant communication – with a cell phone in his hand, a child is also reachable. For instance,
if a dad is running late to pick up his child from school, he could call the child and ask him to
wait inside the school building till he arrives.

They “grow up” – with the proper coaching and communication a child with a cell phone can
be taught about responsibility. Even the simple fact that the phone or device has to be kept
safely can be a way to teach your child about being responsible.

Now the nays!

Vulnerability – the convenience of a cell phone can also be its undoing. There are plenty
of ways in which a child can fall prey to malafide individuals of all kinds. Surfing the net
without adult supervision can draw a child into some unsavory chat rooms. Or the child could
be the victim of cyber bullying. There has been plenty of news about MMS scandals as well
and all of it means that a child is left more vulnerable to peer pressure and other risks.

Distraction – a cell phone can be pretty distracting to a child. The games, the ability to surf
the internet, sending and receiving text messages from friends and even talking to his friends
– they are all ways by which a child can get distracted from his studies and sports.



  1. Also, losing it would be a big nay.

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  7. There have been plenty of studies on children owning cell phones and most of them point to a
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