Adolescents and mobile phones, how to control their use?

The I Xplora study on children’s access to mobile phones points out that a three out of four parents their children ask for a mobile phone with less than 10 years. Specifically, this percentage rises to 76.7% of the parents surveyed.

The study, conducted in 2019, consisted of 400 online interviews with mothers and fathers with children between 5 and 12 years of age. The survey also asks about the reasons that lead parents to offer a mobile phone to their child, with the majority answer being tranquility of talking to him, in 73% of the cases, and wanting to know at all times where the minor is, 46% of the answers.

They also appear as reasons to give a smartphone social pressure and prevent the little one from being left behind technologically. In turn, this study is very interesting because parents determine that the ideal age for their children to have a smartphone is between 12 and 13 years old.

The mobile phone is not a dangerous tool, it is the inappropriate use of technology

The study, despite being from 2019, is very significant about the behavior of parents and children with respect to technology. Besides, the pandemic has influenced this phenomenon, that of dependence on technology.

Children no longer interact as before, their leisure depends largely on the internet and mobile applications, and we must also add restrictions on mobility and curfews.

Social networks like TikTok, Instagram and platforms like Twitch or Amazon They are among the favorites of adolescents. The problem, therefore, is having a mobile phone at an early age, but the use that is made of it.

Like technology can be an exceptional educational and outreach resource, It can also be the door to harmful and dangerous behaviors, such as bullying, unhealthy dependence on the Internet or sexual harassment by other adolescents and pedophiles.

More peace of mind for parents

The I Xplora Study in 2019 already pointed out that one of the reasons that invites parents to buy a phone for their children is the peace of mind of knowing where they are at all times.

In fact, one of the advantages of using the new technology in mobiles is by using a app to locate people. Such people can be controlled with or without knowing it, for their good, as in the case of parents concerned about their children or the owner of a business.

Another formula that resembles this is the possibility of include parental controls on teens’ phones, so that certain applications cannot be downloaded or that, in the case of using the parents’ phone, they cannot access some content.

These options can be launched directly from the phone settings or by downloading free apps from the application store.

Adolescent girls, more active than boys

A data similar to that of the Xplora Study is the one that shows the INE Survey on Equipment and Use of Information and Communication Technology in Homes 2019, which was released in February 2020.

According to the study, 66% of children between 10 and 15 years old have a mobile phone. The survey does not collect data only on mobile phones, but focuses on internet use. Thus, almost 90% of people of that age have a computer and 93% surf the net on a regular basis.

In that age range, girls use technologies to a greater extent, and older, more use, especially from the age of 13. The percentage of adolescents and young people who use the Internet increases until the age of 24, when it is practically universal, with ratios of 99%.

From that age to 55, it decreases. The people who use the internet the least are the oldest, those between 65 and 74 years old. Above these age groups, the INE did not collect data.

What measures to take in case of suffering some type of abuse?

The use of mobile phones in adolescence carries a series of risks, but the solution is not to veto the devices, but rather put in place measures to detect attempted abuse, identity theft or harassment.

Remember that if you receive any type of harassment online you can always report to the police. She will always help you. This recommendation, together with a consensual use of devices with parents, is the best way to get the most out of technology and turn it into a good tool for learning, entrepreneurship and the establishment of healthy social relationships.

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