How Young Is Too Young For A Mobile Phone?

from the why-not-give-them-one-with-their-birth-certificate? dept

It appears that the "how young is too young for a kid to have a mobile phone?" debate is starting up again. Of course, part of the reason for that is that the various mobile phone companies have been targeting their marketing dollars down into the pre-teen age range. AT&T Wireless is even teaching a class for kids about mobile phones at some museum. While they claim that it's to focus on teaching kids about technology (and not marketing to kids), apparently the part that excites them the most (not surprisingly) is where they get to check out the cool new phones AT&T Wireless is offering. Meanwhile middle school and elementary school officials are saying that the problems of mobile phones in schools - which used to only effect high schools - has been creeping downwards. As for kids, it becomes a peer pressure sort of thing - where every kid wants one as soon as they find out someone else in their class has one. For parents who do decide to give their kids phones, they try to make sure that they put them on pre-paid plans, so they don't end up running up huge bills. Still, there's a point at which you have to wonder if that 8-year-old really needs his own mobile phone.
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  • identicon
    Beck, 18 Mar 2004 @ 6:17am

    No Subject Given

    My mother used to write our phone number on a piece of paper and tape a dime to it. Since pay phones are disappearing, maybe the modern version of this is to program our phone number into a cell phone and clip it onto my son's belt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark, 18 Mar 2004 @ 9:00am

    Youngest cellphone user

    I have a friend who has a 5 yr old daughter and an incredibly bitter, nasty divorce. The daughter has her very own cellphone so joint custody pickups can be arranged without Mom & Dad ever having to speak to one one another. Personally, I think the kid would be better off with a couple of grownups willing to put their differences aside for the best interests of their daughter, but hearing some of his stories about what a harpy his wife turned out to be, I might opt for the kid's cellphone too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      maxx, 26 Mar 2004 @ 7:40am

      Re: Youngest cellphone user

      you have to be an idiot to give a device that has been proven to damage normal brains, yet alone young still growing brains,without earphones.
      (swedish study that showed the lesions,in a rats brain after ONLY 2 hours of LOW cell phone microwave emission.) go to rense.com and look up the research. No kid younger than 18 should use cell phones(they say..), however let them use earphones ALL the time,or you will have a retard on your hands eventually.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        amy, 8 Feb 2007 @ 5:48pm

        Re: Re: Youngest cellphone user

        i agreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... the only reason manufacturers are marketing to the younger crowd is because the teen crowd is now saturated...and they need to make more money...i say that the manufacturers should think of the good of the people for once...not the good of the company...quick buck and stupid kids..or less money and kids without any BRAIN PROBLEMS...
        i am only a teen (i'm 14)...so my opinions may be objectional or whatever...but this is what i believe to be true...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bbay, 18 Mar 2004 @ 11:12am

    No Subject Given

    What exactly is the danger here?

    I learned to use the phone and the phonebook at about 5 years old. I used it on a regular basis to call a friend. No one at the time ever suggested that it was inappropriate for someone that age to use the phone.

    Is it because it's mobile? Or is it because cellphones are traditionally grownup things?
    Or does it just seem extravagant?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    maxx, 26 Mar 2004 @ 7:50am

    what???

    Again you have to be an idiot to give any kid a cell phone without earphones,due to the damage done due by low level microwave emissions. Even with ear phones the damage occurs, but its not a bad as putting it against the side of a younsters head. There is going to be an epidemic of diminished ability kids soon because the brain damage is severe in a still developing brain.can you say D-UH!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JML, 7 Jul 2006 @ 8:26pm

    Hmmm Son in the US

    Honestly, I think it is a great question to be asking. Now I have a son that lives in the southern US and I live up in central Canada. Unfortunatly, I am unable to see him as often as I like. I have repeatedly told him and his family there that he can call me (collect) whenever he wishes but they don't either allow/encourage such action. In providing him with his own cell phone ( he as known how to operate a digi cam since he was 2) I think is a very unique and efficient way to communicate with my son. Now I am not saying go out and get the latest blackberry, but as you have all probably seen there are these new firefly cell phones for kids, with limited capabilities (preprogrammed numbers, incoming calls limitted to what is in the phonebook. etc etc. ) .. I would love to heear more opinions on the matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sasha, 15 Aug 2008 @ 12:48am

    WTF???

    what ever happened to those days when kids would run around for hours outside with their friends,exploring and using their imagination?now it seems those days have sadly gone,due to this ridiculous mobile trend.pretty much all of the kids at my school (even the primary school) have phones except for a few people.i am nearly 13 and i do not have a mobile.im not allowed one until i get a part time job so i can pay for the bills and i think its a great idea coz it shows kids that they cant get everything they want and not become so spoilt.i dont think they are strict enough on mobiles at school.i come to school to learn, not be surrounded by people with mobiles,complaining how "stupid" it is that im not allowed a phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2008 @ 8:06pm

    every kid should have 1
    wat if they feel unsafe
    scared
    its not like they will make prank calls
    jee

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    this guy, 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:33am

    jeez guys

    im 15 years old now and last year, on my 14th birthday, i got my first phone. the reason id got the phone is because my school was quite a trek from where i lived, so to give me and my family a limited sense of security i was bought a phone. i pay $15(half) of my credit so im not spoilt. i didnt surcuumb to the peer pressure given to me in highschool but thats just because i can see the big picture: debt(that other people get in and have their parents pay for) and the fact that teenagers an pre teens use them for stupid things, most of the time. kids these days i think are spoilt and have no imagination(i doubt anyone could have fun making noises for all the kitchen appliances anymore aye bro?) and these brands of technology are only making things worse!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shae-vegas, 17 Mar 2010 @ 9:15pm

    Why are all of these kids away from adults? I don't understand why all of these kids need to have a phone on them to contact their parents....shouldn't they be WITH their parents? Even if they are out with friends shouldn't there be an adult around or payphone or something. I understand when a child is of driving age but 7 or 12 years old....that seems a little strange. What people don't watch their kids anymore?? I would think it would be more sensible to be aware of the people your kids are around and to get phone numbers from the adults, coaches, etc to contact. I don't know....it just seems a little strange.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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