Should kids have cell phones? It’s a question that’s certain to raise a few eyebrows and a lot of voices. While parents debate on the good and the bad, one thing is certain, the number of children using them is increasing each year.
Nielsen’s 2016 fourth-quarter showed that a significant percentage of children currently use or have a cell phone. Around 45% of the survey respondents, between the ages of 10-12, have one with a mobile service plan. Even kids as young as 8 years old make up 16% of the children that currently have a cell phone. Kids now play with their parent’s phones from infancy, so it’s likely this trend will only continue to grow.
As more and more get phones, here are some of the positives that come out of kids having their own mobile devices.
- Safety – Most of the cell phones targeted towards children offer distinct safety features. According to the Nielson survey, 90% of parents said easily getting ahold of their child is the primary reason for getting their child a wireless device. Features like loud noises or an emergency call button could help in sticky situations. Reversely, children also have an easy way to reach their parents if they need anything.
- Becoming adept at using technology – Similar to how children take computer class at school to learn skills, owning a cell phone will help familiarize kids with mobile devices. Our use of technology grows as we age and 65% of parents surveyed indicated this as a key factor in the decision to get their child a wireless device. Having a tech-savvy child can be an asset if it’s used in the right way.
As the wireless market for children grows, so do the options available for purchase. For example, Sprint’s WeGo phone is marketed specifically for kids. With features like a secure contact list, panic alarm, and GPS location services, Sprint is able to tap into all the needs of parents. And the age-old need that every parent knows too well, “everyone has it so I need it too!” – that’s satisfied too.
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