Whenever someone’s parents buy them a phone, they can stay in touch with them wherever they are. But do they know the dangers that come with a phone and how to avoid them?
As more kids get phones at a younger age, many do not realize the dangers that arrive along with this great device. For starters, consider the phone the bill. Young kids do not imagine paying for phone usage and don’t know to limit their calls and texts. Rich Ling, the Shaw Foundation Professor of Media Technology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore is a communications scholar who focuses on mobile communication, stated “Sixty-nine percent of teen cell users have a phone that is part of a contract covering all of their family’s cell phones.” In other words, Ling said that most teens that have cell phones are on a contract covering all of the phones in their family instead of on their own contract. Some teens can pay for their phone bill, but they still make their parents pay it.
According to Susan Davis, medical doctor at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, phones may also have a radiation risk. Cells phones emit radio wave, which is radiation, but not like what you get from an X-Ray. Even so, doctors recommend using earphones and keeping your phones in the back pocket of pants to protect the reproductive system. I don’t’ know about you, but I suddenly don’t want to carry a phone against my body all day now. It will take several more years of research to determine the radiation risk, but do the safe thing and follow some of the safety procedures above.
Cell phones can also disrupt sleep. Davis also states ‘Pediatricians are seeing growing evidence that cell phones, especially those that allow kids to text, can disrupt children’s sleep patterns.” What Davis is saying is that kids are not getting enough sleep due to their phones. I agree with this. I have seen some of my friends, even my brother, stay up watching a phone or other device. They want to keep texting their friends and playing games. There is also a blue light that cell phone screens emit that stops the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical produced by our bodies that helps us get to sleep. You can purchase apps that filter the blue light.
Cell phones can disrupt concentration, too. Davis also states “Early studies show that frequent texting and emailing can disrupt kid’s concentration. It can be compulsive if kids start being ‘on call’ 24/7 to keep up with their friends.” What Davis said is kids can start thinking about if they just got a text or e-mail from a friend all the time and lose track of thinking about homework/chores and other things. I have been distracted by a game before. I wanted to get on it and play and end up forgetting what I am doing at the moment.
Last of all is the issue of cyber bullying. More and more kids are being bullied through social media. With the more time children are spending on their devices, the more of a chance they have of being bullied. Charlie Osborne stated “Forty – six percent of heavy users experience cyber bullying on their cell phones, a much higher rate compared to just 23% of teenagers who are within the ‘normal usage’ bracket.” what Osborne is saying is that the more time kids spend on their phones, the more of a chance they have of being bullied. I would not want my children to be bullied. I would do what ever it takes to keep my children safe.
The decision of buying your kid a cell phone is an important decision. Although a cell phone allows parents to stay in touch with their children, a phone also has unwanted side effects. Would you allow a kid to have something that allows access to inappropriate images, videos, and music? Or would you let them wait until they become older and teach them everything they need to know before giving them this enormous responsibility?
– David Cahill