Mobile phones at one point of time were a luxury and the definition has quickly changed to becoming a necessity. Is it really a necessity or we ourselves have created that need? I do come from that old school of thought, where I feel, Mobile phones are not a necessity as the way it sounds today.
The reason parents give these days is that it helps to keep track of their children, so then does it mean that in the olden times, parents did not care for their children. The more need we create, the more it becomes a necessity. Parents think mobile phones are a key necessity for children. I will not say it's a necessity, I can say it's more of a convenience.
This is my personal opinion that children should be given mobile phones at an age of 13 or 14. Which also is not a necessity, but then now the peer pressure and exposure is also so much that it is difficult to avoid.
20 years back if we look back there were no mobile phones and children did perfectly fine without them. They went for tuitions without phones, they completed their projects without phones, they went for birthday parties, school picnics, holidays with families, all without mobile phones and did perfectly fine. Hence to an extent I believe that it is perfectly ok if children are not given mobile phones. But what we see today is competition among children for who owns the best phone. It's become a status quo for the children.
We see almost every child with a smartphone. If you give them a simple phone which only has calling features, it goes below their dignity and they feel ashamed to carry it. And all that they do on Phones is use Social Media and play Games, which I don't know how parents think is useful.
Children open their FB profiles with fake names and age and then so much rubbish happens, which parents are not even aware of. Parents should feel responsible for what they are providing their children with. If they have provided phones to their children, they should be in complete control of it. They should keep doing random checks on the photo gallery, videos, chats, websites visited history, games they play, etc. to keep a track of what their child is up to.
When a child has a lock on the phone, this should ring a bell. Why do they need locks, if they have nothing to hide? Parents should observe how much their children are using their phones. If they are hanging onto it all the time, it's not a good sign.
I am not against children using phones but when parents become careless that's the problem.
I gave my son a mobile phone at an age of 12. We had made a deal. I gave him a basic phone, from which only phone calls and sms were possible and we had an agreement that he had to use it for a minimum of 2 years. He was very annoyed with me, but this was some years back so still things were in control. Nowadays it is difficult to control children over these matters.
Another very amusing thing I see is parents giving mobile phones to infants and toddlers to keep them occupied. It's a shame for such parents that they do not know how to spend constructive time with their little babies.
I feel the age of 13 to 14 is the right age to give mobile phones to children. Till then parents can always be supportive by lending their phones if they would need for any use. Sometimes I feel people like me will become irrelevant to this world in the next 10 years from now.
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