By Alexa Crow
Not long ago, I was asked by one of my professors, “How young is too young for an iPhone?”
Since it’s 2015, times are changing and technology is advancing, I found it a little difficult to answer that question.
In this day and age, it seems as if age restrictions are a thing of the past. Or at least that’s how society wants it to be portrayed.
10- and 11-year-olds are carrying around iPhone 6s, uploading pictures to Instagram, subtweeting friends on Twitter and sending selfies around on Snapchat. Does a 5-inch by 2-inch screen have the capability of corrupting childhood?
Oh, what a difference a decade and a half can make. In the year 2000, kids could be seen playing on the monkey bars. Instead of children choosing to play outside, children choose to spend countless hours on their smartphones. As a kid, I would love to go camping and on road trips with my family, but now it seems kids are choosing to stay home with their video games, computers and phones.
Every single night growing up I would have a sit-down dinner with my family, but kids in this generation are too busy texting during dinner to even enjoy those quality moments with their families.
These kids are wasting their easiest and happiest years of their lives on stress and drama that results from different outlets of technology. This stuff can wait until they are in high school or even college.
I didn’t have my first phone at the age of 8, nor at the age of 11. Actually, I didn’t have my first phone until halfway through my freshmen year of high school.
I remember it being an iPhone 4, and I was so excited because everyone else had one too, so I felt like I fit in. Really? Is that the purpose of buying a $700 phone? To fit in?
12-year-olds are getting these phones and becoming Internet addicts at such a young age.
The problem may not be the desire to possess a smartphone. The problem is the exposure young children receive when they get these smartphones. They are instantly connected to the world of social media, and with that comes the chance these young children will be exposed to a world of sex, drugs and alcohol. Many of these things inevitably are glamorized via social media. Still wondering why these young kids are going to extremes just to fit in?
The fact of the matter is, kids don’t use phones for the features it has to offer; they use it as their token into society or their outlet to acceptance. Kids are wasting precious years of their lives being engulfed by iPhones, social media apps and other various technology outlets.
I guess the answer to my professor would be that society no longer sets an age too young or too old for an iPhone. However, I would touch on all that a child might miss out on once sucked into the world of technology. Children should be less obsessive with iPhone apps and more in-tune with quality family time and carefree play. Think twice before buying your children iPhones. Keep them young while you can.
Alexa Crow studies nursing. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @AliSchultzzz.