Charlie is 9 next month and he has asked for a games console. He is the last one in his group of friends to have one and I have to admit I put up some resistance. I do worry about the online ability that some of these games have and it all makes me realise how far technology has come since I was young; not only in terms of capability but as to how huge of a part it plays in modern-day society. I first realised this when Charlie started school. He didn’t have a tablet nor did he play on the laptop or my tablet yet when it came to starting school, he was at a disadvantage as he was unable to use anything in the classroom.
I remember getting my first phone when I was around the age of 12 and it was a huge very basic phone that enabled me to “prank” my parents so they could ring me back and save my credit. On average, kids receive their first smartphone at the age of 10 and by the age of 14 the average child will have sent more than 35,000 texts and 30,000 WhatsApp messages a new study has revealed. The modern youngster will also have spent a full six months looking at their phone during that time period, averaging 135 minutes’ use a day. It’s quite a sobering thought realising what a huge part technology plays in kids lives nowadays.
The survey, of 1000 kids aged 8-14 and their parents, also found that young people expect to receive a reply to a message within 15 minutes, and spend over an hour a day browsing social media sites Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Given how much I am online, I’m not surprised. It’s rare when you’re out and about not to see people engrossed in their smartphones.
Young respondents said the best thing about their smartphones was being able to stay in contact with friends and family, and playing games. The most common argument kids have with parents about mobile phones is the amount of time spent using it, followed by the times it’s used – either too early in the morning or late at night, which is my worry given how much sleep Charlie needs as he gets so cranky without at least 11 hours! It seems that kids may inherit some of their smartphone addiction from their parents. Of the 1000 adults polled in the same survey, nearly four in 10 said they spend too long each day looking at their smartphone which I definitely can relate to.
With three-quarters of parents are happy for their children to have phones that allow them to call for help in an emergency, and 62 per cent think staying in touch with family members is worth the arguments. I recently read all about monqi which is a kids smartphone that parents can manage. It is a great introduction to the world of smartphones as it has ana amazing sleek design that will appeal to all kids but parents ate able to have control over what kids can access. For example, you can limit your children’s calls, texts and data usage, approve all apps and downloads and set a schedule so that they can'[t use it all day every day and usage can be limited. You can have piece of mind whilst your kid has a super smart-looking handset and also connect to YouTube via the Jungle Store; I know Charlie would absolutely love this as he is a huge Dan TDM fan so the ability to watch him when out and about would be his dream!
I think this smartphone for kids will be very popular this Christmas as the monqi seems to address all of the worries us parents can have when giving our offspring access to the world of technology. How many of these can you relate to?
THE TOP 10 SMARTPHONE WORRIES FOR PARENTS
- Kids accessing inappropriate content
- Children may be targeted by strangers
- Receiving nasty messages
- They’ll be on the phones too late into the night, disturbing their sleep
- Worried kids will drop/break phone
- Will be glued to the phone and stop listening
- Kids not concentrating in class
- Bullying about handset
- Phone will get stolen
The monqi smartphone is the first smartphone to be Mumsnet Rated. It comes with up to 7 hours talk time, a front and rear facing camera and is android and iOS compatible. It is available exclusively to Carphone Warehouse and to me seems the perfect first phone for children.