Smartphones for Kids: Teaching Digital Responsibility At Any AgeJessie Nuez
I remember when I got my first taste of technology. I had a beeper when I was in high school and purchased my first cell phone back in the mid-’90s when I was in college. I paid for the bills with my own money. And never had a need to answer to anyone about who I called or texted.
Nowadays, kids are obtaining cell phones at a much, much younger age. Most are racking up hundreds of dollars’ worth of bills due to expensive family plans. Parents are left with no other choice but to pull the plug, leaving kids disconnected and parents paying for charges they never made.
Right now, for me this isn’t an issue. I have a 5-year-old, who is a bit too young to have a cell phone. But he is not too young for me to explain how to responsibly handle the device, what it should be used for, and what is definitely off limits.
This is the way I see it. The more information I provide him with about digital safety and awareness now, the more informed he will be to make smarter decisions when the time comes to hand him his very own mobile device.
Although I do not have the issue of deciding whether or not to gift him a cell phone anytime soon, I am thrilled to see there is a kid-friendly smartphone like Zact on the market. I am glad I have the option to provide him with a mobile phone that will allow me to choose a plan comparable to his needs and my pocket.
Pre-loaded with apps and content from Disney, Zact mobile took everything I love about my smartphone, and customized it and made it kid-appropriate. This device will afford me the ability to pick an adjustable no-contract plan that would fit his data needs, to only pay for what I need, and get an automatic money-back credit if the current plan turns out to be too big. No overages, free tethering, adding extra devices for less than $5 a month — and absolute control of it all from my own device.
I will say, my biggest issue in raising a digital child is being sure that I am covering all the areas and making him understand the reason why limits need to be set, and the importance of being open and honest about what he does online — and most importantly how he treats others on the Internet.
Disclosure: I received a Zact Mobile phone to review, but all opinions are my own.