It was not a hard decision for my mother to buy me my first cellphone. It was a year after the September 11 attacks, and I was entering middle school. Tensions were high in society, and parents wanted to keep in touch with their children. At all times. In any situation of security, it is important for parents to know where their children are, and that is why I believe that as children get older, they need to have cell phones. I feel 10 years old is still too young for children to own cell phones. While cell phones are perfect for keeping constant communication with someone, there still must be a point where someone is too young for this device.
First, cell phones can be entirely too distracting. A lot of adults find it difficult themselves to remove themselves from the addictions of social media, so how could we expect our children to act any differently? A child as young as 10 would use cell phones as a means of avoiding family time and other structured development events. For a child, texting would replace face-to-face communications at a time where it is mostly needed. Children will spend excessive amounts of time on their cell phones, taking about from their study and homework time.
The Academy of Pediatrics as implements rules for children over 6 who are given cell phones, and through their studies have said that children as young as 10 ought to have severely limited time with these devices. Cell phones make children sedentary, not moving for hours at a time. In this time, it is possible that they are accessing a lot of information, some which might be too sensitive for them at their age.
Maturity is also a factor. Children as young as 10 are exceptionally good at finding out new things or figuring things out, and their lack of maturity may lead them to discovering things over their cell phone which might not be suitable for their age. If they are advanced, they could even keep what they have discovered hidden from their parents. A child’s actions must be monitored, and so if a parent is going to give their young child a cell phone, there has to be a series of limitations that prohibits their child from potentially harming themselves.
Ultimately, I feel that a child as young as 10 is too young for a cell phone. There are too many inherent risks at that age, and we still don’t understand the long term effects of a lot of screen time. It will be up to the parent to make the final decision. If a parent decides to buy their child a phone, I hope that they are always monitoring their actions, and that they do not allow this new device to substitute that child’s desire to go outside and be active.