Mobile phones are playing an increasingly important role in children’s lives. Parents, teachers, psychologists, technologists, advertisers, manufacturers, and business people have very different views on this topic. Is it worth buying a smartphone for a child? What are the disadvantages and benefits of using a smartphone?
What is a smartphone?
A smartphone is a phone with greater connectivity, greater capacity to store data, and more features than a traditional cell phone. It’s basically a pocket computer.
There has been much discussion about the excessive use of smartphones in childhood, and from an increasingly early age.
Should a smartphone be allowed for children? To help you make the right decision as a parent, analyze the following disadvantages and benefits of using a smartphone and decide what is the best solution for your own children and family dynamics.
Disadvantages and benefits of using a smartphone in children
1. Smartphones are modern
We live in an age of technology, so denying a smartphone to children can be controversial.
How do you explain to children that smartphones can be harmful if you still let them play on a computer and tablet, or use the smartphone yourself?
2. Use your smartphone to get information
Outside of class, using a smartphone guided by a teacher can make children look for information on a topic. In this way, children can be taught to use learning aids, retrieve information for a school assignment, and at the same time promote proper familiarization with the subject rather than just copying.
3. They can increase security and communication
Parents can use a cell phone to connect with their children and find out where they are at any time and how they can in the event of an emergency.
Many cell phones are equipped with GPS, allowing parents to locate their children’s phones and find out where they are.
4. Promote accountability
Allowing children to use a smartphone can be a way to teach them to be responsible. This applies not only to taking care of your phone, but also how to use it and for how long.
5. Smartphone as a learning aid
Smartphones can help children use calendars to mark exam dates, record voice memos for something interesting, and keep the phone numbers of their parents, teachers, and friends. They can also take a picture with a cell phone camera of a chart or drawing on a whiteboard, which promotes learning.
Of course, smartphones are not only useful, but they also come with many disadvantages, risks and dangers.
Here are some of the disadvantages that introducing a child to the world of technology at an early age can cause.
1. The use of a smartphone hinders the development of a child’s fine motor skills
The child must learn to grab a pen and write before he learns to use a smartphone. Forefinger and thumb grip is one of the essential milestones in every child’s psychomotor development.
According to some studies, too much use of smartphones and tablets in early childhood distances children from this simple and fundamental hand grip.
2. Learning a written language is limited
Children chatting in chats, text messages, or social media shorten words and communicate into pictures, which can hinder the development of written language.
However, writing is a basic tool for success in later studies.
3. Increase isolation from others
Just like with video games, constant use of a smartphone leads to isolation from others. The child plays, surfs the web, and chats on social media, but does not chat with loved ones. The development of social skills is an important part of children’s development.
4. It promotes a passive lifestyle and childhood overweight
Too much use of a smartphone will result in the child sitting or lying in bed all the time. Lack of physical activity has serious consequences for children’s health. Strive to prevent childhood overweight!
5. Privacy is reduced
Smartphones have all the tools you need to capture your everyday life. The child can take pictures and make videos and share them on social media. His life may revolve around getting “like,” comment, or new followers. This reduces privacy, which can have serious consequences, such as the following we list below.
6. A child may become a victim or perpetrator of cybercrime
Uncontrolled phone use can expose children to cyberbullying or child abuse. A child may accidentally post an intimate picture or video and become a victim of bullying. Or he may take a picture of another child or share private content about him and thus become a bully himself. Watch carefully how your child uses the phone.
What should parents do?
The disadvantages and benefits of using a smartphone with a child are wide-ranging. It is the responsibility of parents to monitor their children’s use of the telephone and the Internet. There are a wide variety of applications to monitor your smartphone usage, you just need to find out, make an assessment and decide.
It is also important to watch children learn online. You need to be attentive and know what they are doing and what kind of content they are seeing and sharing.
Used properly, smartphones are a great tool.