When I walked to school everyday, I used to be mildly horrified at the young children who walked past me with mobile phones. Iâ€™m not talking about eleven year olds, Iâ€™m talking about proper Primary School aged children; eight year olds or younger.
My cousin is one of those children who had a mobile at an extremely young age; I think she was eight or nine. And I always wondered why at that age does a child require a mobile phone? What possible need is there for one?
Well, obviously there isnâ€™t. At that age youâ€™re not off out on your own, and you certainly do not have a social life that requires constant access to the world.
What causes this desire is peer pressure, and idolising characters out of Hannah Montana, or whatever itâ€™s called; and I think itâ€™s wrong.
Iâ€™ll admit now, I got my first mobile when I was eleven, and even that was a struggle. But it was more for practicality than anything else; I would be starting high school, and gradually gaining more freedom. For a long time, my only contacts were my Mum and home number.
Then there is my cousin, who has just turned eleven, on to her second mobile, with dozens of contacts. All of her friends have mobiles too, and they have done from a similar age; but to all of their parents it seems perfectly fine.
Maybe this is me just showing my â€œgrannyishâ€ side, which I know I definitely have, but does no one else see any wrong in this?
Children are, as their name suggests, children. A mobile is not just a device to contact other people; itâ€™s a responsibility, a liability, and maybe even a health hazard. The liability comes in the form of the increasing numbers of teenagers having their mobile phones stolen, and whoâ€™s to say that these young children are not at equal, or even greater threat?
The health side-effects are yet undetermined with mobile phones, and surely, donâ€™t want to be exposing their young children to possibly dangerous electro-magnetic energies right? No, wrong, they do. They go out, spend money on mobiles, and not just the cheapest ones out of Woolworths, but camera phones, or walkman phones, for their â€œdeprivedâ€ children.
This is by no means a new occurrence; I remember when I was around eight or seven myself, and a couple of girls in my year had mobile phones. At the time, most of us, were amazed at the sight, I mean, mobiles in the nineties, they were generally reserved for adults, the business, and important people of the world; and I saw my peers with them. But at that age, it was never necessary, most of the day is spent in school, and when youâ€™re outside of School, youâ€™re rarely fifty meters away from your parentsâ€™ sight.
I am by no means a parent, or anything of the sort; but it worries and shocks me to see such young children trying to grow up so quickly, but more so, the parents. I wouldnâ€™t say giving eight year olds mobile phones is practical or necessary; and if anything the children are more prone to be in danger.
What do you think? Should young children have mobile phones? And is there any way to stop such young hands owning devices which could have adverse affects on them? Also, is this another sign that childhood is becoming extinct?
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