The argument over how we use technology and the role it plays in our lives is often framed in terms of kids: How does growing up with smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices affect childrens’ cognitive, emotional, and social development?

The Why Axis BugWe won’t have definitive answers to those questions for a generation, but meanwhile, today’s parents are faced with daily decisions. What boundaries should be set on device and internet use at home? How much screen time should be allowed? Does your child need a smartphone at school, and at what age?

PCMag surveyed 1,000 parents with children in grades ranging from preschool to college to gauge when they think is the right time to buy their kids a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and smart speaker. For smartphones, the majority (53 percent) of parents said age 12 to 15 is appropriate for kids to get their own phone. Another 23 percent said ages 9 to 11, and 17 percent said not until ages 16 to 18.

Parents were far more divided on tablets. While 27 percent said they prefer ages 9 to 11 to give kids a tablet, 26 percent felt ages 6 to 8 were appropriate, and 23 percent chose ages 12 to 15. For 14 percent of parents, even ages 3 to 5 isn’t too early, whereas the last 10 percent said they didn’t think a tablet would be appropriate until ages 16 to 18.

Laptops, unsurprisingly, tend to skew older, when kids have more scholwork to complete. Forty-one percent of parents said they think age 12 to 15 is the right time to receive a laptop, with 26 percent opting for ages 9 to 11 and 20 percent choosing ages 16 to 18.

READ  Can you cash in on a rebate for slow internet? - Coffs Coast Advocate

Maybe the most interesting response breakdown was for smart speakers. As more families buy the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and other smart devices, another recent survey found that one in five parents would leave their kids home alone with Alexa. Yet in our survey, 39 percent of parents said they wouldn’t want their child to get a smart speaker until ages 16 to 18, and 27 percent said not until ages 12 to 15.

Social norms around kids’ device use continue to change. As smartphones and social apps become ubiquitous, parents are increasingly concerned about their kids’ mobile-device usage. PCMag’s survey also asked parents whether they regret buying their child a certain device; 75 percent said no. Among the other 25 percent of parents, 3 percent regretted buying a smart speaker, 4 percent said a laptop, 9 percent chose a tablet, and 12 percent said they regret buying their kid a smartphone.



READ SOURCE

WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here