The question over whether there is a right age to start using a mobile phone is something that has been much debated; particularly between those that feel today's children are owning phones too young, contributing to them becoming tech-addicts. With more individuals around the world using mobile phones and tablets for everyday tasks, the ‘right’ age to start using a mobile phone is becoming younger and younger.
How Young Is Too Young?
Currently 90% of 11 to 16 year olds own a mobile phone, and it is not uncommon to see children as young as 11 or 12 owning the latest, most expensive smartphone, especially as this is the age they begin secondary school and gain a newfound independence. Often parents allow children of this age to own their first mobile phone as a safety precaution and a way to contact them if an emergency were to arise.
However, more and more often, children of a much younger age are becoming interested in mobile phones; some even owning them as young as 8 or 9 years old. The debate as to whether this is too young is mainly centred around the notion that children of that age do not necessarily have a need for a mobile phone, as they are rarely away from their parent or guardian, and many believe this contributes to the number of children that are 'obsessed' with video games and on-the-go technology from a young age.
With a large percentage of the population owning a smartphone, it comes as no surprise that children develop a keen interest. Many young children of today start using a mobile phone from pre-school age, though this is usually purely for suitable games at their parents wish. However, bearing this in mind, it is easy to see why today's youth are starting to use mobile phones much earlier than people did, for example, 10 years ago. They are exposed to everyone around them, day in and day out, using a mobile phone.
Is There Ever A Right Age to Start Using a Mobile Phone?
There is not a definite 'right' age to own a mobile phone, mainly as every individual is different and their circumstances differ. For example, a child who is starting secondary school may need a mobile phone around the age of 11 or 12, but a child who spends a lot of time at after school clubs or away from their parent or guardian when they are younger than this may need one a lot earlier.
Ultimately, it is up to the parent or guardian of the child to decide what they deem the ‘right’ age to start using a mobile phone to be, though ‘the older the better’ appears to be the stance most people take on the matter.
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