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.

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