According to Rouse, “cell phones are electronic telecommunication devices that are used in making or receiving telephone calls through radio waves or satellite transmissions” (1). On the other hand, Parke and Stewart note that these telecommunication devices have enhanced communication network and multimedia data along with message transfer which have made it effective in facilitating the exchange of information (318). They add that, most of the cell phones offer services such as the Internet that allows browsing, e-mailing, downloading, and uploading various media products in conformity with the current digitized world.
Parke and Stewart note that the act of buying a cell phone has been understood to be more than just choosing a handset; but rather picking out a service provider or carrier who would offer sufficient and effective services at an equitable price (319). They observe that the current trend of globalization and digitization has called for early acquaintance with the new technologies especially among children. This has prompted many parents to purchase these devices for their children. While the use of these devices among children has elicited various debate, especially on their ability to allow children accessing both illegal and unnecessary websites, these devices have positively impacted on them. The paper, thus, discusses why children under the age of 17 should be allowed to have cell phones.
Why 17-Years Old and Below Should Have Cell Phones
As pointed out by Ferran, cell phones have given parents ample time as far as controlling their children is concerned (1). He notes that parental control is important in child’s development, especially as they transcend from their adolescent period into being adults. According to Iannelli, no parent is normally aware of all the things his or her children do when they are not on their sights. Based on this, parents are usually unable to control delinquent behaviors and characters that forms part of their children’s life as they grow up (1). Therefore, Iannelli points out that allowing children under 17 years old to have cell phones enables parents to track their moves and activities in order to control them early enough (1).
Iannelli notes that most parents normally install parental control software such as Mobile Spy in their children’s cell phones (1). This allows them to monitor their text messages as well as the in-coming and outgoing calls they make. Parental control programs normally alert parents of suggestive languages that are used by their children such as “hook up,” or “meet up.” This enables parents to know the kind of behaviors and characters being adapted by their children. In this way, parents are able to prevent the possibility of their children engaging in acts of juvenile delinquency (Ferran 1).
Additionally, cell phones incorporate tracking applications such as GPS that enables parents to know the location of their children. These applications, which notify the speed and location of children, enable parents to know their children’s whereabouts. McEntegart points out that allowing ownership of phones by children allows their parents to continuously communicate with them (1). For example, McEntegart reports the findings of a study presented by Media Mark Corporation showing that 82 percent of children, between the ages of 10-11, usually use their cell phone to communicate with their parents (1). She adds that children of the same age bracket used their cell phones to talk and text their friends. It also accounted for 68 and 55 percent respectively. It shows that, while cell phones are best tracking devices for children’s whereabouts, it also enhances their communication networks.
On the other hand, Rock points out that those children below the age of 17 should be allowed to have cell phones in order to promote their education (1). She notes that most of high school students normally use their cell phones in taking notes, accessing online textbooks, creating and sending documents, and also conducting research; all that works to improve their learning process. She points out that the survey conducted by Project Tomorrow in U.S found out that 67 percent of parents confessed that they would buy cell phones for their children if it would be allowed in schools. According to her, these parents noted the ability of using cell phones as a communication tool in coordinating both the extra-curriculum and logistics in schools which can improve their children’s education standards.
Moreover, Rock notes that children below the age of 17 should have cell phones in order to conform to the new technological world (1). She points out that parents are increasingly leveraging the usage of cell phone among their children to allow them to gain knowledge which can enable them to be relevant in the new technological era. She notes the findings of the study conducted by an internet security company, AVG, on early childhood development revealed that two out of ten children between the age of 2-5 years old were able to use smartphone, while one of ten in the same age group were unable to tie their shoelaces without help. Additionally, the report indicated that 25 percent of children were able to use cell phones in opening web browsers without assistance, while 20 per cent of children could not swim without assistance. Therefore, allowing children to have cell phones enables them to acquire technological knowhow by promoting the development of their motor and social skills (Parke, Stewart 318).
In conclusion, cell phones can be essential devices for parental control and enhancing child’s education if properly managed. Therefore, it is important to introduce children to the usage of cell phones at their early ages in order to enable them to adapt to the new technological world. Moreover, parents and all stakeholders should ensure that the cell phones have applications and programs that enhance children’s education and moral behaviors.