Should Kids Have Cell Phones?

Introduction

After asking their parents for gaming stations and advanced music systems, techno-savvy children have gone a huge step beyond to ask for their very own cell phones. These gadgets are no longer products, which are used only by adults. Nevertheless, a mobile phone is a device, which has to be handled with care and responsibility. There is definitely no clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question whether kids should have cell phones or not. There are fundamentally two opposite opinions behind the matter. This paper is meant to analyze both points of view.

The main argument of this paper is that it is always a good idea to provide a young child with a phone so that he/she could use it for own advantage. The manner in which parents introduce their children to a mobile phone and the way they educate them about its responsible usage is extremely important. It helps to keep children away from the disadvantages of using mobile phone at a very young age.

Safety Issues

Increased instances of school shootings and various national and international hazards have encouraged parents to allow their kids to take cell phones to school (Ginns, 2009). Cell phones have been productively used in schools to make calls in cases of emergency. These calls have saved lives and decreased quantity of victims resulting from these hazards. Cameras installed in lots of phones have been extremely useful to provide direct evidence to officials, helping the police to safely neutralize various threats. The most important benefit of children having mobile phones is not only the permanent connections with parents, but also the ability to directly connect with parents or other services in cases of emergency. This is useful when children are at school, where there are many hazards a child may encounter. Having a cell in hand will allow the child to call for help in case of emergency. With a cell phone contacting fire department, police, or ambulance may be done right away. Furthermore, some inexpensive and easy to use models of phones are equipped with emergency response features. They include the SOS button that may be used once a kid is in an emergency situation. A constant and reliable communication channel is an extremely convenient advantage for youngsters and their parents. If parents are late to pick a child up after school, they may simply call or send a message to inform him on what to do. Further, when parents are at work, a child may call them to inform about unexpected things, for instance, sudden change of schedule.


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Youngsters who get home on their own after school or have medical issues benefit from the usage of mobile phones. Kids who go home from school can contact relatives right away and tell them where they are. Also, young people with medical issues may use mobile phones to request medical help instantly instead of attempting to make it to office to make the call. Using mobile phones makes it possible to eliminate the waiting time spent when utilizing the official school phone.

On the other hand, opponents of the usage of cell phones by young kids are right when they say that a cell phone may become a hazard rather than protection (Olsen, 2010). For example, fancy phones may attract the attention of robbers. However, this is true only for sophisticated cell phones like smartphones. This problem may be simply resolved. Parents merely have to pick an inexpensive model that will not attract the attention of robbers. Simple phones have only necessary characteristics and are reasonably priced, which protects youngsters and their parents from the drawbacks of cell phones.

Expenses Issue

As it was stated above, ability to contact a child with the help of cell phone provides parents and youngsters with an added sense of security (Ginns, 2009). However, adversaries assert that cell phone bills may become shocking. While considering the purchase of a cell phone, first and foremost, many parents want to be certain that their children can handle the responsibility of carrying a new device. Having a mobile phone may lead the youngster to misuse it. Opponents of mobile phone usage at an early age worry that it might turn children into mobile phone junkies who become addicted to these gadgets and their short messaging, games, and other features. The phone market constantly comes up with the most attractive applications for kids to use. Nevertheless, even if mobile phones are given to children based on safety considerations, children soon begin demanding more advanced and expansive phones, which will be next in line (Olsen, 2010). Purchasing expensive phones for children will, in fact, attract robbers and threaten child’s security instead of protecting it. Giving expensive phones to youngsters is really providing them with an addictive toy under the guise of the necessity. Further, there may be some charges parents know nothing about. Again, the best way to cope with this is to purchase not too expensive mobile phone without any entertaining characteristics. It is also highly recommended to pick the most cost-effective plans for families and to use restricting and filtering options (Conger, 2011). With the cost-effective plan parents will not have to worry about extra costs and will always know where their children are.

Responsibility Issue

Many opponents of mobile phones assert that these gadgets are known to be used by children for extremely unethical purposes. Mobile phones may interrupt school lessons, waste students’ time and negatively affecting their academic success. Some students use their cell phones to cheat on their tests or to spread inaccurate and unpleasant information concerning other pupils, educators, or the entire school. Many youngsters have already proved to misuse their cell phones. Pupils too often use their gadgets to spread rumors and false information. This false information may be extremely damaging to their classmates and may cause stress to young people. These circumstances have already resulted in deaths of youngsters after private or inaccurate information was spread with the help of mobile phones. Local and state officials have started to create regulations, which outline certain penalties for people who spread this information. These measures include large fines, jail time, and even granting a person a sex offender status.

Although these concerns are valid, it is not cell phones that send offensive messages and cheat during examinations. These gadgets should be turned off during lessons. However, the child will not stop offending other students even if the phone is taken away from him. If children incline to do something offensive, then the absence of cell phone will not prevent them from doing so. Mobile phones, on the contrary, may help to teach children the responsibility and kindness. Responsibility can be learned by following rules concerning cell phone usage and taking proper care of the gadget. The phone alarm is also useful to remind youngsters about the time to put on uniforms for baseball game, to begin packing up at the library because father will be there in five minutes, or even to remind to feed a pet. Generally speaking, there are lots of benefits involved in using a phone properly. Using the electronic gadget as a way of teaching life’s significant lessons is a perfect ground for providing a child with a phone. A cell phone needs to be charged daily and requires special care. Most significantly, it has to be accounted for every day. Losing the gadget would presuppose losing advantages of communicating freely.

Conclusion

Nowadays, with the growing number of hazards at schools, it is clear that parents are concerned about the child’s protection. Here, a cell phone may be one of the most effective ways to ensure children’s security. One more point, which may be considered as a benefit of using cell phones by children is the fact that managing a gadget might teach the youngster responsibility and make him feel more comfortable in the society. However, parents should make sure that their children are ready to cope with this kind of responsibility.

Parents should not purchase a mobile phone if a child is asking for the phone in order to fit in a school crowd. Materialistic thinking of such kind should never be encouraged among the youngsters. Instead, parents should properly explain to a kid why she or he cannot have the most expensive cell phone model at this age. Parents should never fall victims to the marketing tactics and allow kids to talk them into obtaining expensive and fancy gadgets or upgrading the model with some novel application. In the young age children have to understand safety concerns of their parents, which should be the single ground for purchasing the phone. Children have to realize that it is not appropriate to spend too much time on gaming and text messaging. Parents at all times expect their kids to grow up to be responsible adults. However, they have to understand the impact of their decisions regarding issues like these on children’s future.

That is why I believe that it is at all times a nice idea to purchase a cell phone to a young child. The manner in which parents introduce their children to a mobile phone and the way they educate them about its responsible usage may help to keep children away from the disadvantages of using mobile phone at a very young age. 

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