I Gave My Seven Year Old an iPhone

While I was at BlogHer last week, as part of the US Cellular blogger brigade, I attended a lunch focused on kids and smart phones. Some interesting facts like the following were shared:

Though the above and some of the other thoughts shared gave me a lot of food for thought, the talk also reconfirmed my decision to give the #terrortwins a mobile phone. As the moderators said, it really is a case of responsibility and need, not age. And with two girls with such different needs, it makes sense for our family for them to have a way to contact us when they can not be with us and a phone to use at home. I feel better knowing we have a phone on the U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network to use in the case of emergency (it works GREAT in our city!) at home and that will share us where they are when they have it (we installed the Life360 app on it to help us keep track of their goings and to find them easily should we get separated.)

And yes, my seven year old has a nicer phone than I do.

The girls are the proud owners of a brand new iPhone.

But this did not come with no strings attached. We prepared a parent/child agreement on the use of the phone and had both girls go over it with us. This phone is the first step in increasing responsibility and it comes with rules.

As we finish out July (National Cellphone Courtesy month,) I thought it would be a great time to ask what tips you have for kids and smartphone usage.

After all a recent Pew Research survey found that 67 percent of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls – even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

And according to a U.S. Cellular survey, 37 percent of users say others get upset with them for phone use, while 63 percent say they get upset at others for phone use. [Survey details: Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.]

So we want to make sure we are setting limits on the girls’ usage which will help them be respectful of others. And we are making sure we are following those rules as well.

What advice do you have to offer? Does your child have a smartphone?

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