Cell phones are quickly becoming the real life computer that 30 years ago was only seen in the most innovative science fiction movies and novels. Smart phones are extremely powerful network connected computers and are becoming more and more popular for kids in the United States. According to the Common Sense Media Use Census of 2019 cell phone ownership by twelve year olds has risen from 41% ownership in 2015 to 69% ownership in 2019 and 81% of fourteen year olds own a cell phone.
While this gives our youth many amazing and powerful tools at the flick of a finger, it can also put your child at risk. To help combat online predators the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office recently posted a 21 Apps That Parents Should Know About Guide on their Facebook page.
Finding one of these apps on your child’s phone does not mean they are using their phone inappropriately or are in danger, however it may mean that it is time to have a conversation about technology usage with your child.
Feeling nauseous just thinking about this challenging conversation? Have no fear we have solutions. There are many great, free, research driven resources to help you prepare. Check out www.commonsensemedia.org/cellphone-parenting for tips on this and many other topics related to your child’s cell phone ownership.
By: Chad Riffle
K12ETA’s Instructional Consultant Special Projects – Technology