Is it my age? My experience? Is it good old common sense? Or, is some combination of all three? I haven’t yet figured out where its coming from, but “it” is the way that I’m teetering very close to telling parents to buck the trend and love your kids by keeping the smartphone out of their hands for a good long time beyond the average age. . . 10.3 years-old. . . when a child now gets his or her first smartphone. Ten-years-old is way too young. Most people will think that my recommendation will be way too old and way too ridiculously unrealistic.
Step back and take a look at the current digital landscape. The smartphone has been on the scene now for just over 10 years. That said, we’ve got a generation of parents who are able to look in the rear-view mirror to assess just how well the whole kids-and-smartphones thing has gone in their family. My research isn’t at all scientific, but I’ve yet to meet a parent who looks away from the rear-view mirror to excitedly say, “I wish I had given him/her that smartphone earlier!” Rather, I’m hearing proclamations of lament and regret. Many of them begin with “If I had only. . . ”