Children. Smartphone. What age?

102 posts in this topic

18 hours ago, arsenal21 said:

A smart phone is like a game console

It's never too late to learn how to use a smartphone and to educate yourself about its applications.

 

Actually, I was reluctant to buy it, too, up until 2016 I used a simple Nokia even though I am partly a tech person. Well, it was a big mistake. I do not have a single game on my smartphone, I am not a game person.

 

19 hours ago, pmd said:

 

So you've assumed I'm a luddite and assumed I'm not rich.

 

One out of two, not bad ;-)

I didn't say you are not rich. I assumed you're not a billionaire.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/1/2019, 8:25:36, lisa13 said:

anyway no one has ever refused to text me based on my whatsapp status.  

 

How would you know? More important though is that you need whatsapp / skype or similiars for free calls - especially international calls.

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3 hours ago, jeba said:

How would you know? More important though is that you need whatsapp / skype or similiars for free calls - especially international calls.

 

I make those free calls with my home phone - VOIP.

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3 hours ago, jeba said:

How would you know? More important though is that you need whatsapp / skype or similiars for free calls - especially international calls.

 

I have used Skype or messenger for international calls for people who have it but some ppl still don't.

 

The company where I'm currently doing a project at is using Skype for their whole Phonesystem. Office people have a headset to plug into their notebooks and those who have to be mobile have special cordless phones. If you are using it on a computer it works great because you can share your screen and show and tell with your documents 

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I think the answer greatly depends on the child.  There is no exactly correct answer.  I have heard of a 6 year old who taught herself Spanish because she was given a tablet and we have all heard the horror stories of what the other end of the spectrum can be.

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Don't blow off your school's annual "how to handle media / Internet" lecture.  Even if you don't agree with what you hear, it's a good resource.

My advice: old enough for a smart phone when they seem trustworthy enough not to lose it or break it.  That varies from kid to kid.

Parental control can include insisting on having password for the phone and any apps installed, limiting what types of apps are installed, and requiring phone to charge in the hallway or living room over night and not in the kid's room.

 

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Because certain popular apps on smart phones are as addictive as gambling, a 'safe' age is 18, in the same way that gambling is 'safe' at that age. 

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I find some of these comments very far removed from reality. My child got a smart phone when she went to secondary school (3 years ago), because every single child in her class had one. Literally *all* outside school communication between the children goes via smart phone (WhatsApp and Instagram). Most of it is along the lines of "Did we have any homework in maths ?" or similar. Or "here's a cute picture of my dog."  I checked. Then there is the hobby WhatsApp group: "Can everyone please remember to bring a black t-shirt next Friday?" etc.

It doesn't have to be an IPhone, a cheap and cheerful smart phone around here is less than 100 Euros. Yes it's money, but they last. Limited data and and limited internet at home and it's not worse than regulating TV consumption.

Did my daughter get contacted by random guys on SocialMedia ? Yes, once. What happened is, she told me, almost excited that this had actually happened. The phrase used by my child, age 10, was "he's either a pervert or a scammer, can I keep talking to him to figure out which one ?" (No, she wasn't allowed to and I explained to her why.) The kid will be alright, even when I am not around to monitor her, which was the goal all along.

But making sure that my child is the odd one out, due to fear of the "big bad internet" ? Not cool.

She needs a computer for school, all school books are electronic and a sizeable chunk of her homework. So "no internet" is a no-go anyway.

If you as an adult make the conscious choice not to have a smart phone (I know some people who do), that is your decision, but on the other hand I am aware that at age 47 people of my age group won't flinch when I explain to them they have to contact me by text. Of course when that person sits in the US and 10 text messages later we both got a bonus phone bill which wouldn't have happened with WhatsApp, it all starts looking not so clever.

And I am not sure how much experiences from 10/15/20 years ago matter. Times move on. At least I am aware that I am old.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Marianne013 said:

She needs a computer for school, all school books are electronic and a sizeable chunk of her homework. So "no internet" is a no-go anyway.

 

On the computer subject, our primary school has two partner secondary schools, one for the kids who get the gymnasium recommendation and one for the ones who do not get it.   The latter one has been receiving lots on backslash in the past couple of years with rumours saying "You have to buy a mandatory expensive notebook for the kid".   After digging in the subject I found out that yes, they have a "Notebook Class" program, all kids in the class are required to buy a notebook, and yes it is slightly expensive, 700€.  You have to buy them through the school because they have some school discount and because the notebook software is somehow administered by the school, not yet sure how exactly and to which level.  But it seems that they want to have the exact same notebook for the whole class so they keep them updated with the same software version and so on.   You can pay the notebook in installments, and it seems there is support for truly poor people.   And it is only one class per year, so if you do not want to be part of the program you can opt out and go to a "normal" class.

 

After thinking for a while, yes, 700€ is a lot for a notebook, I myself rock a MacBook Pro from 2012 I bought second hand for 400€ a couple of years ago.   But then schools are for free here, back home 700€ would be the school fees for three months in a semi-decent school or one month in a good one.   Sometimes people take things for granted when they do not know how it is in other places.   And the ones who complained the most are the ones which kids wearing branded clothes and shoes.

 

Anyway, I don't think you can shield your kids from the Internets nowadays, better to prepare them for it.

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4 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

Because certain popular apps on smart phones are as addictive as gambling, a 'safe' age is 18, in the same way that gambling is 'safe' at that age. 

Funny one. Do you have kids?

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@Krieg There is no mandatory purchase of anything. In theory all pupils can use the computers in the school library, but in reality this is not realistic. The school is not open on weekends, though most council run libraries are open all day Saturday and I see a lot of teenagers in there studying. But I think in this day and age, requiring access to the internet for pupils is not an undue burden. There was no usage of computers/internet for the pupils stipulated in primary school. The teachers did, every class room had a computer and an electronic whiteboard.

I have to admit I find electronic textbooks somewhat irritating, but on the other hand they don't get lost or damaged and my daughter doesn't have to carry a 3 kg bag to school every day, and as I am not the one who has to work with them and she doesn't know anything else, it's not something I worry about.

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3 hours ago, Krieg said:

After thinking for a while, yes, 700€ is a lot for a notebook, I myself rock a MacBook Pro from 2012 I bought second hand for 400€ a couple of years ago.   But then schools are for free here, back home 700€ would be the school fees for three months in a semi-decent school or one month in a good one.   Sometimes people take things for granted when they do not know how it is in other places.   And the ones who complained the most are the ones which kids wearing branded clothes and shoes.

 

Come on, the argument for the 700€ notebook does not stand. At many workplaces the IT dept. administer all software, yet employees can choose within a broad spectrum of different hardware. And even if insist on same hardware for all, they could have selected  one for 300€ instead. Yes, they could, more than high enough specs for the need of schoolchildren.

BTW schools are not free here. And even if they were, it would not justify them to make you buy stuff more expensive than it needs. 

What if it was musics lessons, should we accept they all have to buy the same 700€ violin, and it really must be the same so the staff can tune them all the same?

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We have friends in NRW and their kids all needed the same expensive laptop.

 

Our school has a list of requirements for the laptop your kid will need and they are quite clear that just so long as it works and does all the stuff they want, it is all the same to them if you spend mega bucks on a brilliant one or peanuts on a secondhand one. I think that is a much more inclusive policy.

 

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If I had a child who was allowed/able to leave the house alone, they would have a smart phone with all necessary tracking and notification apps. The safety of my child is more important than the old fashioned  of concept  'my child is to young'.

 

the times, they are a changin'

 

My best friend Johhny went to school in September. I asked, "when can I go to school?'. My parents replied  'When you are 6, like Johhny'.

 

Well...lo and behold, I turned 6 in November. I got up, got dressed, and rode my bike to school...cuz I was 6. I found Johnny and he brought me to class.

 

My parents were of course quickly informed and I got to stay until lunch...

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Well, kid#4 has now had his for about a week. I don't feel any differently about his safety now than before. We do live in a small town where nothing much happens.

 

If I had felt it was necessary he'd have had one. For school trips he used a family one which we kept for the purpose, because on unfamiliar territory I thought it was a useful tool and potentially lifesaving.

 

For those who think that not having the same as everyone else is disadvantaging the youngster, said kid#4 is Klassensprecher and perfectly happy. There has been jubilation from the rest of the class that he has a handy now, but he is personally pretty underwhelmed. 

 

edit - I do like the starting school story. 

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4 hours ago, Marianne013 said:

@Krieg There is no mandatory purchase of anything.

 

In the particular school I was talking about it is mandatory if you want to be in the Notebook Class.  If you do not want to buy the notebook you have to join the other classes.

 

3 hours ago, Gambatte said:

 

Come on, the argument for the 700€ notebook does not stand. At many workplaces the IT dept. administer all software, yet employees can choose within a broad spectrum of different hardware. And even if insist on same hardware for all, they could have selected  one for 300€ instead. Yes, they could, more than high enough specs for the need of schoolchildren.

 

To be honest, I wouldn't want my kid to use a POS 300€ for 3 years, specially when they are going to use it the whole time.   They use the notebook the whole time, it is not just a couple of hours a day.

 

I agree that 700€ is a bit too much, but if my kid went to that school and wanted to be in that class I would just pay it.

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6 hours ago, McDee said:

Funny one. Do you have kids?

 

Glad you liked that!

 

I do actually, the oldest will be 12 in March, and most of her friends have smart phones.  She asked when she could have her own cell phone.  I told her I got my first cell phone when I was 23, so she'll get one when she's 23.  She hasn't asked again since, she is after all more than halfway there.

 

I find it funny that you find it funny, as though the idea of going without a smart phone is utterly inconceivable.  Just as a thought experiment, visualise life without one, it is indeed possible.

 

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Good for you, kapok.

 

Did you show her a picture of that first cell phone?!

 

My husband makes our lot laugh their heads off with descriptions of his early electronic gear, of which he was most proud. The mobile phone was frankly not especially mobile...:)

 

Your point above about them being addictive is the essential thing, really. We have friends who seem always to be irritated with their kids constantly being on their handy. It is kind of sad when the people on the machine are more present than the ones in the room.

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21 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

 

Glad you liked that!

 

I do actually, the oldest will be 12 in March, and most of her friends have smart phones.  She asked when she could have her own cell phone.  I told her I got my first cell phone when I was 23, so she'll get one when she's 23.  She hasn't asked again since, she is after all more than halfway there.

 

I find it funny that you find it funny, as though the idea of going without a smart phone is utterly inconceivable.  Just as a thought experiment, visualise life without one, it is indeed possible.

 

21 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

 

Glad you liked that!

 

I do actually, the oldest will be 12 in March, and most of her friends have smart phones.  She asked when she could have her own cell phone.  I told her I got my first cell phone when I was 23, so she'll get one when she's 23.  She hasn't asked again since, she is after all more than halfway there.

 

I find it funny that you find it funny, as though the idea of going without a smart phone is utterly inconceivable.  Just as a thought experiment, visualise life without one, it is indeed possible.

 

21 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

 

Glad you liked that!

 

I do actually, the oldest will be 12 in March, and most of her friends have smart phones.  She asked when she could have her own cell phone.  I told her I got my first cell phone when I was 23, so she'll get one when she's 23.  She hasn't asked again since, she is after all more than halfway there.

 

I find it funny that you find it funny, as though the idea of going without a smart phone is utterly inconceivable.  Just as a thought experiment, visualise life without one, it is indeed possible.

 

21 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

 

Glad you liked that!

 

I do actually, the oldest will be 12 in March, and most of her friends have smart phones.  She asked when she could have her own cell phone.  I told her I got my first cell phone when I was 23, so she'll get one when she's 23.  She hasn't asked again since, she is after all more than halfway there.

 

I find it funny that you find it funny, as though the idea of going without a smart phone is utterly inconceivable.  Just as a thought experiment, visualise life without one, it is indeed possible.

 

21 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

 

Glad you liked that!

 

I do actually, the oldest will be 12 in March, and most of her friends have smart phones.  She asked when she could have her own cell phone.  I told her I got my first cell phone when I was 23, so she'll get one when she's 23.  She hasn't asked again since, she is after all more than halfway there.

 

I find it funny that you find it funny, as though the idea of going without a smart phone is utterly inconceivable.  Just as a thought experiment, visualise life without one, it is indeed possible.

 

21 hours ago, kapokanadensis said:

 

Glad you liked that!

 

I do actually, the oldest will be 12 in March, and most of her friends have smart phones.  She asked when she could have her own cell phone.  I told her I got my first cell phone when I was 23, so she'll get one when she's 23.  She hasn't asked again since, she is after all more than halfway there.

 

I find it funny that you find it funny, as though the idea of going without a smart phone is utterly inconceivable.  Just as a thought experiment, visualise life without one, it is indeed possible.

 

On 12/4/2019, 7:25:41, kapokanadensis said:

Because certain popular apps on smart phones are as addictive as gambling, a 'safe' age is 18, in the same way that gambling is 'safe' at that age. 

Funny one. Do you have kids? Nice snidey comment. You missed my point. I was a good bit older than you when I got my first smartphone. Good luck. 

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