Sprint today has launched a new website to help parents decide when it is the right time to buy their kids a smartphone. The website features a handful of facts to consider, as well as videos and a quiz to help parents make the decision.
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Interestingly, Sprint cites an Influence Central survey that says 10.3-years-old is the average age at which children get a smartphone and that 64 percent of kids have Internet access by that age, while 1 in 2 kids have some sort of social media account by age 12.
It used to be that getting your driver’s license was the signifying moment when freedom and the race toward growing up started. Times have changed and thanks to an ever-evolving world of iEverything, the timeline has accelerated—having a phone to call your own is the new first step toward independence. One that’s happening earlier and earlier among American families.
In the videos, child and adolescent psychotherapist Katie Hurley, who wrote The Happy Kid Handbook, discusses topics including age consideration, maturity, and online safety. Sprint also notes that 66 percent of parents feel kids spend too much time on their phone and 52 percent of kids agree.
In the five-question quiz, Sprint asks parents these questions and based on the answers, tells them if it’s a good idea to buy a smartphone.
- Does your child need a phone to stay in touch?
- Does your child break things often?
- Is your child honest with you?
- Does your child understand how to behave online?
- Is your child mature enough to handle the freedoms a phone would provide?
Ultimately, Sprint says there are a handful of benefits associated with giving kids a smartphone: safety, communication, education, and entertainment. The carrier also notes, however, that a smartphone opens kids up to inappropriate content, cyber bulling, and having to protect their online reputation.
So if you’re in the position of trying to determine if your child is old enough for their first smartphone, head over to Sprint’s new “Kid’s First Phone” website to read into it. If you decide that your child is ready, check out 9to5Toys for some affordable choices, as I wouldn’t recommend giving a 10-year-old a shiny new iPhone 6s Plus.