With my background in behavioral health and sociology, I’m very distressed about the increasing obsession young people have with their cell phones. Here’s what I see:
- A seeming obligation to be in touch with something all the time – text messages, games, music, nonsense photos, and much more
- Overwhelming burden to “respond” to hundreds of messages per day
- Oblivion to those around them – to the point of rudeness and insensitivity
- An increasing loss of real social interaction skills – leading to social awkwardness, shyness and a stagnant maturation process consistent with actual age
- Parental surrendering to the cell phone as a form of entertainment for their child
- No rules and parameters regarding use – dinner table, church, school, late at night, movie theaters. You get the picture, right?
So, what age is appropriate for a child to have their own cell phone?