At What Age Do Kids Need Cell Phones?
This morning I was reading a story from the Washington Post about a group of junior high girls and one guy who are regretting their life choices right now because of 'sexting.' To simplify what happened basically this 13-year-old boy was being dumped out of his friend group in the 'cool' crowd so in order to keep his place to started a game. How many of the schools girl 'types' could he get to send him naughty pictures. He would crop out their face and then his guy friends had to try to guess what body was what girl. And get this, to hide the pictures from the phone so their parents couldn't see them, they hid them on App's on their phones that look like things like calendars or calculators!!
These weren't just lonely girls or popular girls. These were straight A students and sports girls. Girls who I am sure DON'T need to be doing to gain popularity. They are all in counseling now and trying to move on with life while other girls call them sluts and tell them to die. So, this got me thinking... why do 12, 13 and 14-year-old children need phones. Seriously, WHY? If parents gave in to the 'because it is cool' bull crap then they need counseling, too. These kids don't drive, they don't have jobs or responsibilities. They don't run errands or go places on their own because again, they can't drive. So, why on God's green earth would you give sexually frustrated and confused tweens a device that they are not mature enough to handle.
They are kids. They don't understand what decisions mean later or the idea of a long lasting consequences. They don't make good choices... This is why they still have a thing called home room and braces. They are all in the same space everyday for hours so why do they need devices to communicate with each other... simply walk over to them and sit by them. And at night when they are home, it's called parents cell phones or a land line. The kids are desperate to be cool and even the 'best' child can be talked into doing something they aren't sure is okay. Nude/underwear photos at that age shouldn't even be a thing. And if they are even thinking it, then giving them a device that can spread it to every kid in the school and to social mediums that will put it out to the world, is not even a good idea.
I got my first phone when I got my drivers license. This made sense because if I needed help and had to call my Mom and Dad then I could and that gave them peace of mind. And back in 2003 when I first started driving, I was one of the first kids in my school to get a cell phone. It wasn't a fad. It wasn't 'cool' and it wasn't necessary unless you were driving. Even then, I know a lot of parents that didn't get my friends phones.
Once you are an adult and on your own then feel free to 'sexted' all you want. At that point you are adult enough to know what could happen or are mature enough to know if the person is to be trusted or better yet, your BF or GF, so it's a safe space. But at age 13, you have no use for a phone. Literally, none.You don't need Facebook or Instagram. You need to be developing your mind and learning in school. You need to be being a kid because that innocent stage only lasts so long and then it's gone.
Okay, I digress.