How Old Should A Child Be When They Get a Cell Phone?

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:

  1. A seeming obligation to be in touch with something all the time – text messages, games, music, nonsense photos, and much more
  2. Overwhelming burden to “respond” to hundreds of messages per day
  3. Oblivion to those around them – to the point of rudeness and insensitivity
  4. An increasing loss of real social interaction skills – leading to social awkwardness, shyness and a stagnant maturation process consistent with actual age
  5. Parental surrendering to the cell phone as a form of entertainment for their child
  6. No rules and parameters regarding use – dinner table, church, school, late at night, movie theaters. You get the picture, right?

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So, what age is appropriate for a child to have their own cell phone?

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