Going Mobile

Growing up, our bikes were our sense of freedom.  We shared a landline to call friends.  We ran over to the library to get our homework completed, puzzling over how the card catalog worked.

But today’s world is amazing: communication so close and information only a click away.  Thankfully, there are still years ahead of us until this decision needs to made but I’m still wondering: when it is appropriate to give the little one a cell phone?

In doing the research, I came across this PBS article that served up excellent questions to consider when making the decision, but was distracted by the rather adorable and hilarious comments from young kids posting their pleas and big desires for a phone as comments at the bottom of the article. 

Huffington Post parenting blogger Christina Pesoli sets out several interesting reasons to delay increasing that family plan.  This statement in particular caught my eye:

Research indicates that being constantly wired-in to technology in effect rewires the human brain. It makes surface friendships easier than ever, but deeper friendships harder to come by and more difficult to maintain. And if that's the effect on adults, imagine the impact on children whose brains are still developing and who have yet to fully figure out how to have and be a friend. With messages from elsewhere constantly beckoning your child, it is difficult for her to be fully present in whatever situation she is actually in.

This Time article tells me that “the most popular age at which parents give their kids cell phones is 12.”  This strikes me as awfully early, but I wonder if some of it is parents giving in to the peer pressure from classmates and friends their child’s age.

As you can imagine, the web is rife with ideas and insights—admittedly subjective and unquantified—on what is best or popular for the right age….so let’s contribute to this chorus of voices! What are your thoughts?  When did you give your child a cell phone?

Tags: Mom, mom blog, cell phone, mobile, age appropriate

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