Sunday, July 28, 2013

Children and Mobile phones

I accidentally came across this research on mobile phones and children carried out by GSMA. The statistics of the research are particularly shocking for a person like me who finally managed to buy a Smartphone at the age of 23 (my current age). I will list down few of the most interesting statistics;

65% of all children surveyed currently use a mobile phone; of those, 81% have a new handset.
12 is the most common age for children to get their first mobile phone.
Nearly 24% and 20% of children in Indonesia and India respectively, send over 51 messages a day.
70% of all children who use the internet through their phone access it at least once a day.
70% of children have met or started to communicate with ‘new friends’ online.
Over 70% of parents have concerns about children’s mobile phone use, with viewing inappropriate sites and overuse sharing the highest percentage at around 82%.

Well, these were only the few stats I selected as interesting for me. To discuss more about the parental concern over mobile phone usage of children, it states that parents allow their kids to use mobile phones is for the purpose of staying in daily contact. As mentioned before 70% of the parents are concerned about their kids’ phone usage. Well, the first question that comes to my mind is “why do they give a phone to a 12 year old kid first of all”. Maybe I live in a culture of closely knit families where parents are constantly looking out for us, but I still don’t get it. 

As always there’s an upside and a downside to any situation. But in my opinion the downside of kids using mobile phones is far greater than the upside. Ok, I agree in a case of an emergency you can call your parents and let them know that everything’s alright but what about the negatives? When I go a friend’s house I tend to go out and play or do whatever. But the latest generation of kids has almost forgotten how to play. They go for a play date and end up playing games on their phone or iPad. They do not get any physical exercise and fall into the category of “children with diabetes or obesity”. 

How will it be in another 5 years time? Will kids come out of a mother’s womb holding a phone? or will they be so mobile phone literate that at the age of one they will know how to use their dad’s iPad?

Here is the link for the research I found. 

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