How young is too young for a cell phone?

In today’s generation, cell phones are a huge trend that keeps on trending.

Josh White

After all these years of limited technology in the world, there are now numerous gadgets such as iPhones, iPads and other products available. But how young is too young for a cell phone?

Parent Megan Tuttle is not in favour of younger kids having cell phones.

“It’s expensive, it’s a big responsibility, and they’re not old enough to chip in with the bill yet,” said Tuttle.

Tuttle also says that while kids are in school, there are many ways of communicating rather than just bringing a cell phone to school every day.

Some children are limited to the use of cell phones. Leah Tuttle, while not being allowed to use a cell phone, is enjoying her time exploring this phone. Josh White/Kicker

“There are pay phones. There is an office there if they have an emergency,” said Tuttle. “There is a way to use the phone.”

According to MediaSmarts, 25 per cent of children in Grade 4 have cell phones. In
junior high, the number doubles. The study also found that 25 per cent of teens have cell phones.

Janice Mullins is the director of strategic development and planning for the province’s Child and Youth Advocate. She says that she would make some thoughtful decisions before letting a young child have a cell phone.

“I would be looking at why do they need it?” said Mullins. “Why do they want it? For what purpose is it used? Is it for when they are in school? If there’s an emergency and they need to reach me, I would be looking at whether or not I would be putting some blocks on the phone so they couldn’t access other certain things on the Internet.”

Mullins says such technology is hard to avoid at any age.

“Children are being exposed to technology and it’s just the environment that they’re growing up in, which wasn’t present in previous generations,” said Mullins. “They’re just exposed to it from such an early age that it’s just second nature to them.”