Dear Danny, Remy and Matt,
I have read all your guys features. But I was most interested in Danny’s features about Facebook and his Fan Mail Friday (https://computersavvy.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/epd-140-fan-mail-fridays-04052013/) addressing at what age a parent should allow their children to have a Facebook account.
But in this case I wanted to ask your guys opinions on what age I should allow my 2 children to have their own dedicated mobile phones (Smartphones) ?
Sent In By “Nerve-vus Parentz”
But in this case I wanted to ask your guys opinions on what age I should allow my 2 children to have their own dedicated mobile phones (Smart phones) ?
Danny’s Reply: Well first off, I’m not a parent. But since I was the oldest of 3 brothers. My parents both bewildered by the choice they had to make. They decided to allow me to decide if I was mature enough and at what age my 3 other brothers should or should not get the new tech. So, I decided 8 was the magical age. But only as far as they could have a phone to call home and 911. The phone I choose was called the Jitterbug it’s available in the US and some parts of Canada. It looks like a lady bug and it is beefy enough to deal with that age brackets wear and tear.
The downside of course was this was more directed at a feminine audience. Since it was a cutesy red lady bug. Sadly, I could not find a more male geared option at my local Rogers store.
See the biggest mistake parents make is going all out with their child first phone. No child should be getting a full blown smartphone for their first phone unless they are 13 or older. In my view on the subject anyways. They are not quite ready for the incredible amount of complexity that comes with such a well rounds interactive device.
As once the flood gates open there is little chance of going back. To the way things were before.
So I say follow your gut and set your own rules. Some kids are good with setting their own limits and are no worse for ware. While other become quickly addicted and or have problematic issues. Such as outrages phone bills or inappropriate uses that could easily snowball.
Remy’s Reply: Again like Danny said I am not a parent or a doctor. But I went with the same idea. I bought my girlfriends daughter a Jitterbug phone and she was 5 when I picked it up. Now with her it was more a toy with helpful features. So she could call her mom or dad or at the time myself. Each number was programmed to auto dial after pressing down 1 of the 10 buttons. The phone also had voice mail. But I’m not really sure why. Also important to note other then babysitters and school she was with her mom and did not need to use the phone. But it is a great learner phone.
I’m more then positive that their is like devices via the other cell phone providers. That would meet a similar need without breaking the bank or causing a fuzz with the more mature option of a full on smart phone.
Matt’s Reply: Well, I’m probably the closest to answering this, as I have a younger sister (actually 4 years younger than me), and when we were growing up, I was always watching out for her, and protecting her, from the ever-increasingly dangerous world that we live in. Plus now, I have a young niece and nephew to think about as well, and for me personally, I wouldn’t think of getting them a phone until they were old enough to travel home alone from school, which in my opinion would be about 12-14 years old.
When I was growing up, mobile phones were really just starting to take off with the younger generation, like with the Nokia 3310 and 3330, and I got mine when I was 14, with my sister getting one when she was 12, as the craze for mobile phones had taken off then.
Nowadays, it’s all about smartphones, whether they be on iOS, Android or Windows Phone, with the craze of social networking taking off on those devices, along with ever increasing internet speeds, the ease to find people online, the ever increasing micro transactions in apps and online, and the dangers of the world that we now live in, I would advice waiting until your kids are slightly older.
Although if they were to get phones at a younger age, then I’d recommend that you get an older phone, with just the ability to call or text people, like 999 (911 in the United States and Canada) in case of emergencies, and avoid the whole internet situation with smartphones until they were older for their own protection.
So if you are keen and want all the latest (CSW) news, reviews and features. You can follow us via our main Twitter Page @ https://twitter.com/#!/Computer_Savvy or via his own personal Twitter Page https://twitter.com/#!/RemySe7en .
PS: Just a heads up to all our readership. He does indeed follow everyone back. If you follow him on his own personal Remy “Se7en” Twitter account.
Till Next Friday,
Danny + Remy + Matt