Teens Love Their Smartphones

Mar 28, 2013

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girl with mobile phone 400pxComputers are for nerds once again. For a short while, all the cool kids wanted computers. But now smartphones are all the rage, and all the cool kids use them. All they really want is to get online or play games, and smartphones do that just fine. Smartphones are really just pocket computers without the boring parts, like the ability to do your homework. According to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life project, 78% of teens 12-17 years old have a cell phone, and nearly half of those are smartphones.

One quarter of teens with cell phones say they are “cell-mostly” internet users. And they use that cell a lot. Teens say things about their phones like, “It’s just part of life now,” and, “I really need to have that connection and that attachment to my phone all the time.”

Even little kids are getting phones these days. Gone are the days when worried moms gave their kids a quarter just in case they needed to use a payphone. Now they just give them the phone itself. And some parents don’t realize just how much they can access with that phone.

These teens are being given access to the internet any time they want, anywhere they want. And being teens, they use that access to get into all kinds of trouble. They look up pornography. They cyberbully others. They use apps to sext each other. They share way too much information about themselves with complete strangers. And they don’t want to tell their parents about any of it.

But parents are the ones paying for these phones. And parents are the ones responsible for their children’s wellbeing.  So parents should have honest discussions with their kids about what they’re doing on their phones. And if parents feel like they need a little help keeping track of their kids’ internet use, they could consider an internet filter like Net Nanny, which blocks out the bad stuff so parents don’t have to worry.

I work for Net Nanny and all opinions are my own.