samoberry Michigan

Letter to President

Young children should have restrictions on phone usage

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

I’m writing about a very important issue as it pertains to nearly every kid in this technology heavy world, phones. Phones are used every day and are always improving and changing, with the new Iphone coming out every year. These smartphones can do many things and provide many ways of much quicker and more efficient communication. But, these phones can be a problem if not used properly, especially when misused by children. Whether it be wasting time, distractions in the classroom, or using social media, children can be easily distracted by their phones, and we need to get rid of that.

In a recent study done by Influence Central, the majority of kids get their first cell phone by the age of 10, and 50% of kids have a social media account by 12 years old. This shows that most kids are getting phones early and most are even getting accounts on sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. While more and more kids are getting social media accounts, their parents are watching their kids accounts less. In 2012, 49% of parents had set limits with their kids and their phones. This year that is down to 41%. Although social media allows for people to express themselves and to communicate to their friends, most of the time kids spend too much time worrying about how many likes a post gets, or how their post will be received before they post it. Kids will spend hours thinking about how they should post something, and then constantly check the picture to make sure it gets enough likes or they will have to delete it. All of this leads to too much self judgement for a young child, and it can be stopped. Parents need to be responsible for what their child does online and parents need to monitor their accounts and their phone. To help stop their children from misusing their phones, parents should take their kids phone away until their homework is done, and set a time at night where they take their child's phone until the next morning so they don't stay up all night using it. This is a reasonable way to handle the child's phone as it teaches kids what proper priorities are and it gives kids motivation to do their homework, helping them in school. Another problem with children being online is cyber bullying and it will cause harm to these young children.

Although young children having phones is meant for communicating to their parents, the phones can also be the medium for which cyberbullying travels through. In recent studies 1 in 4 children have admitted to being a victim to cyberbullying and 1 in 6 have admitted to being a bully online. In reality, the number is even bigger than those two stats because most kids are reluctant to share that kind of information. Their is many forms of online bullying ranging from misreading a text to someone openly making fun of another kid through a post. Although a simple solution for a parent would be to turn off their kids social media or even their whole phone, most kids don't tell their parents because they are embarrassed or don't want to be seen as a “snitch.” This leads to constant harassment and can give kids depression or anxiety because of the unrestricted social media access. Obviously kids shouldn't be bullying other kids, but some are too young to be able to stop themselves. Parents should monitor their child's accounts or not even let them have an account on any social media. If parents see any harassment they should report it and help their child learn through these things how to stop these types of things.

Phones can do a lot of great things but when given to children they can be misused especially when social media is involved. Phones should be more heavily monitored by parents. Parents should be more aware of their kids actions online because they can monitor what their child is doing and need to monitor it as their children are too young to know what they are doing.