Oh, Kids and Their Technology!
There is a movement going on in Colorado circulating the use of smartphones in elementary schools. Brett Molina, of USA Today, recently published on article titled, “When is the right age to buy your child a smartphone?” You can read the article here.
In it, he discusses how an elementary school mother, named Brook Shannon, began an organization with other elementary school families. They call themselves “Parents Against Underage Smartphones” and have created a pledge to wait to give their children smartphones until the 8th grade. They have created a website called waituntil8th.org, where they encourage families to wait, at the very least, until 8th grade to give their child a smartphone. The pledge does not include your basic phone, which comes with only phone calls and text messages.
The concept behind this organization is that children have no need for all of the complexities that come with smartphones. They want to encourage families to allow their children to have an active, fruitful childhood. Playing outside, playing with toys, and allowing the imagination to wander are essential elements in a child’s development. More screen time, of course, means less time participating in potentially more creative pursuits.
I’m led to believe that this is only a good thing. I don’t see any reason for a second grader to have a smartphone, and yet many do. 90s nostalgia is all the hype these days and a lot of that has to do with the lack of technology back then (aside from those amazing Nickelodeon cartoons and classic video games). There has been a lot of research done into how smartphone usage is much different from past technologies. This technology is actually rewiring the brain to the point where children’s minds are developing in a different way than past generations.
What do you think, friends? Is waiting to give children smartphones a good idea? Or is this all silly poppycock? Is depriving children of certain technologies detrimental to their potential or beneficial? Comment below!