As I run errands around town I use my cell phone Ã¢â‚¬â€œ often. I check in with Facebook, keep up with Words with Friends, and keep on top of my emails. As a writer, it gives me the edge and allows me to promptly accept assignments, handle problems, and other aspects of my career. I heart my cell phone.
Apparently there are a lot of third graders and younger in my area that heart their cell phones, too. I see them, barely able to read, talking or texting away. It never fails to leave me shaking my head.
Really? A third grader?
I understand about latch key kids and I can see how a cell phone could be another way of ensuring safety in some ways. In others I wonder if it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just asking for trouble Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if kids will beat up other kids for a brand name shoe, what will they do for an iPhone?
It has caused a new set of problems in school. Although passing notes in class is passÃƒÂ©, teachers must deal with texting, googling test answers and facebooking during lectures.
With phones being carried by kids at younger ages the problem trickles down into the elementary schools. And, you have to wonder, how many of the preteen crowd that have cell phones have them due to need or to peer pressure?
I know that my younger kids have started asking me about cell phones and the answer is simply, Ã¢â‚¬Å“No.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Seriously, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need them to text me from the media room to ask me to bring them more popcorn. They can get up and come and get it like kids have been doing for decades. I am concerned that we are allowing kids to grow up much too fast by giving them iPods, iPhones, laptops, and all kinds of other technology at such young ages.
It isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that I think technology is a bad thing. Without the current technology I would be unable to earn a living the way that I do Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I might actually have to (gasp) go to work.
I just think that technology overload at a young age keeps kids from developing to their potential. Sure, they may be able to research the atmospheric conditions on Jupiter but they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do simple math problems without a calculator or find the peanut butter on the pantry shelf. That is what concerns me.
In a time where most people are feeling more of a pinch on the budget than ever before, more money is being spent on high tech items than ever before. A teenager with a cell phone is one thing but a six year old with a cell phone is quite another Ã¢â‚¬â€œ unless she is a genius entrepreneur and is checking her companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s profits.
I wonder if cell phones at such young ages will begin to erode society with children socializing with people who arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there (we used to call them imaginary friends) rather than the children right next to them.
Obviously, I think cell phones for kids are unnecessary in most circumstances. What are your thoughts?
photo credit: Angelo Angelo