Mum Sparks Debate Over Whether Teens Should Have Smart Phones And Internet Access
One mum has started a social media debate over whether teens should be allowed access to smartphones, after questioning if their time spent online should be monitored.
Technology has become a huge part in almost everyone's lives, with one in four kids under six-years-old owning a phone.
But one worried Mumsnet user has sparked an on-going debate for revealing that she doesn't plan on allowing her teenagers to have smartphones or use the internet without supervision.
"I seem to be the only person in the world who thinks teenagers are too young to own one," fumed the mum. "They are expensive, too easy to be used without supervision. Cause thousands of arguments, and expose teenagers to bullying, grooming and porn."
She continued: "I have experienced this with my step son and also friends with older children have told me their stories.
"I want my kids to use the internet on a desktop pc in a communal living room. I want them to come home from school and feel whatever cr*p is happening at school/online they are ignorantly safe from."
She added: "I realise most kids have smartphones, even some in my child's Yr 1 class. Will they be the only ones without a smartphone? Aren't these phones banned in schools?"
While a lot of users agreed with her, and declared that they want to monitor what their teens are up to too, some users believed it would make the young person more secretive and defy their parents' rules with a secret phone.
One user, who decided to monitor their teens' internet use, said: "Depending on age of child, I entirely agree [original poster]. My kids have had no phone at all in primary (nor a personal iPad though we do have a shared one to be used downstairs only), then a dumb phone when needed for the bus - generally year 7 [sic].
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"After a year of seeing they can follow the rules - charging overnight downstairs, never take to bedrooms etc, then I've bought my older 2 smartphones (well, got myself an upgrade and given them my old one). But no social media, never taken to bedrooms, and only on child-accounts where they can't download any apps or make purchases."
A second user admitted that she only allows her kids to use a basic phone and that they only have access to an iPad in a family room. They said: "I'm in the minority. My kids have a Nokia brick type phone they can access very basic internet on it google and that's it [sic].
"They do have access to iPads and desktops at home, but it's only in the family room. Their phone contracts are capped and they can make phone calls and text but not much else [sic]."
However, most users disagreed and believed that strict controls would only make their teens rebel and keep more secrets.
One user, who is a secondary school teacher, said: "I'm a secondary school teacher of nearly 20 yrs experience. We use phones in class and tutor time for educational purposes as per our school policy [sic].
"But more importantly by not allowing phones until they are 16 will simply destroy their social life! I've seen it happen and will be allowing my DCs to have phones when they start Yr7 [sic]."
Another added: "Cars are dangerous but you probably drive them around in them and walk along pavements with them [sic].
"You supervise and teach them how to cross roads safely. You monitor them until they can clearly be trusted. You then let them leave the house alone and cross roads,first just quiet ones but then bigger and more complicated ones [sic].
"The internet is the same thing. Yes, a desktop in the living room is right for primary school kids. But you need to let your early teens cross bigger and more complicated roads... And they won't be ignorantly safe from what is going on social media. There is still real life and people will still be talking about it there [sic]."
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