Pros and Cons of Cell Phones Becoming a Major Part of Children's Lives

Cell phones are becoming an extremely popular electronic for people to purchase and in some instances they are even replacing house phones. They are also becoming more technologically advanced; most can take and send pictures and videos and connect to the Internet for web surfing. Many children, even as young as kindergarten-age, are becoming cell phone owners. The potential of things that can be done with these phones is endless. Cell phones can be used to look up weather or answers to questions on search engines, but they can also expose a child to anything that anyone wishes to send him or her in a text or e-mail. Parents, teachers, and guardians need to be aware of both the positive and negative aspects of a child having his or her own cell phone before allowing them to use it at their own will.

Pros

  • Many cell phones allow access to the Internet, which can help a child obtain answers to questions very quickly and easily. This can help with studies as well as other simple daily questions like daily weather or finding directions to go someplace new.
  • Some cell phones have tracking devices in which a parent or guardian can track where their child is to ensure that they are safe and where they are supposed to be at any moment.
  • Cell phones allow parents and children to stay in touch. If a child needs to stay after school and needs a ride, they are able to call their parents and let them know by simply using their cell phone. This is especially important because pay phones are become more and more rare. Cell phones can be important in emergency situations as well when a parent needs to quickly get in touch with their child or vice versa.
  • Cell phones can help teach children responsibility. Parents can set guidelines for their children such as staying within a certain minute or text message range. Children are also responsible for their individual cell phone and parents can set rules about misplacing it or breaking it.
  • Cell phones can be a learning tool for children as they can learn a new form of technology as well as explore the Internet if the phone has the capability to do so.
  • Parents can set guidelines for their children on when they are able to use their cell phones. This can help teach them discipline, time management, and also allow them to learn to enjoy their time without using their cell phone.
  • Older children who can drive will be able to have a phone on hand in case they face any type of emergency situation on the road.

Cons

  • Cheating with cell phones has become a huge issue in many schools. Students can text answers under their desks during tests. Since many phones are now Internet compatible, children can sometimes even use a search engine on their phone to find answers to test questions. If the child is caught cheating they can face serious consequences from the school.
  • Cell phones are not cheap. If a child goes over the limitations on a plan, the cost can increase rapidly. Prepaid phones can limit overall payments, but the cost per minute may end up being more expensive depending on amount of usage.
  • Cell phones can be very distracting from more important events in a child’s life such as studying, doing homework, or even crossing the street. Studies have shown that children are more likely to be hit by a car if they are talking or texting on a cell phone while crossing the street. Since cell phones can connect children to their friends and the Internet, they can take away from study or homework time.
  • Older children who can drive may be tempted to call or text while driving which can severely increase their risk of a car accident.
  • Sexting, sending sexual messages or pictures to another person’s cell phone, is also an issue for parents to consider before purchasing a cell phone for their child. If a child does not have any blocked numbers on their device they can receive message which may include sexual explicit messages from anyone who has their number and chooses to send them the message or picture.
  • Children can also receive calls from anyone who has their number unless there are specific blocks on their phone. Parents have no way of knowing who is saying what to their child.

Additional Information


Cell Phones: What’s the Right Age to Start? – An informational article examining when is the best time for different children to begin having a cell phone.



Cell Phones and Cancer Risk – The National Cancer Institute’s examination of the key points about potential connections between cell phone usage and cancer risks.

Cell Phones and Crossing the Street: A Dangerous Mix? – Negatives points on children using their cell phones while crossing the street.

Kids and Cell Phone Safety – A PowerPoint presentation about cell phone safety and how to prevent children from becoming bullied or abused through their cell phones.

Expert Tips on Selecting a Cell Phone for Your Kids – Tips for parents on how to know when the time is right to get a cell phone for their child.

Mobile Phones: Socializing and Communicating on the Go – Cell phones can expose children to social situation that they might not experience without a phone. This article provides safety information about cell phones for parents to be informed about these situations. 

Could Cell Phones Raise Odds for Behavioral Woes in Kids? – An article examining research that suggests children’s exposure before and after their birth to electromagnetic fields from cell phones could cause behavioral issues.

Family Guide to Cell Phone Safety - A guide to help parents and children understand how to safely use a cell phone. Includes a print-out family contract for responsible cell phone use.

Parenting From a Distance – Help for parents trying to keep in touch with their children from a distance. Cell phones and the Internet can help a lot with this communication.

 Cell Phones Pose Danger to Child Pedestrians – An article analyzing the statistics of car accidents involving child pedestrians and cell phone usage.

Parent-Teen Phone Conversations Say A Lot – An article on how cell phone communication between parents and their children is playing an important role in the parenting process.

Teens, Cell Phones, and Texting – Findings and statistics on teens and cell phones and how texting has become a preferred method of communication.

Back to top