Teenagers and smartphones: The eternal dilemma

Kids are more tech savvy these days as compared to previous generations. The rising use of Internet and social media is creating new behavioral dynamics where teenagers are always using their mobile devices to remain connected 24/7.

Yet parents are not happy with the way their children are “interacting but not interacting” as one such parent puts it in a story from USA Today. Hence many parents are refusing to buy smartphones for their kids. Some are buying just the very basic feature phones which help them to keep in touch when they’re away.

At the other end of the spectrum are the parents who want to give the best to their children, be it expensive cars or the latest smartphones. Research done on mobile phone owners reveals some interesting statistics. It was found that 30 percent of teens have a very basic mobile phone without an Internet connection. That is mostly a result of those teens being from low income group families.

Nearly 88 percent of teenagers in the US have access to some kind of mobile device. 92 percent of the kids access cyberspace daily while another 24 percent of this group says that they are online throughout the day with different apps adding fuel to the fire.

It is high time parents realize that having a smartphone is sometimes more related to the lifestyle rather than technological necessity as most of teens have PCs at home. The option of buying a cellphone for a child or denying a smartphone purchase should not be governed by economics but by intelligent choice.

There are some benefits of teenagers having smartphones like parents can keep track of their kids’ activities by following them on social media and so forth. However, technology is only good as far as it acts as a slave to human beings. The moment it starts to turn the other way round, it is a signal to stop and reflect.

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