Cell Phones = Safety Tools

CTIA’s wireless team released a fun infographic a couple weeks ago about how families use their cellphones. The infographic reveals just how many children have cell phones and how they are most often used.

wireless family

The average age at which kids receive their first cell phone is 12 years old, and 70% of kids under 12 have used a mobile device.  Teens report using their phones to text, take and share pictures, share videos, and visit social networking sites. The widespread use of cell phones and their multiple capabilities highlight the importance of teaching safe guidelines for mobile usage.

This leads to the next interesting highlight from CTIA’s infographic. There is a remarkable difference between the percentage of adults who believe they know what their children are doing online (91%) and the percentage of teens who agree that their parents know what they’re doing (62%). That’s a 29% gap between the two parties, meaning that roughly 1 out of 3 adults think they know what their teen is doing online, but is mistaken.  The best way to ensure online safety is to discuss responsible behavior and set guidelines for online and mobile usage.

It’s important to remember that while mobile phones can lead to risky behavior for teens, they can also act as security devices. Life360 recently paired up with Locaid to deliver something priceless to parents in the US: peace of mind. Life360 allows parents to monitor their child’s location and communicate with them in emergencies.

Parents can watch their children walk home from school and ensure sure they get to their friend’s house safely. And if disaster strikes and phone lines go down, parents are still able to locate their children. As Nathanial Mott wrote in PandoDaily, “the ability to quickly locate and communicate with family members could be a literal life-saver during a disaster.”

Better yet, Life360 works for feature phones as well, so it’s a great option for parents who want to keep track of their kids without giving them a smartphone.

While many are quick to label cell phones as a danger to our youth, we see them as powerful safety tools. Cell phones allow family members to communicate and locate each other instantly – we’ve never before had this capability. Use these features to your advantage while teaching your children how to use them responsibly, and you’ll be wondering why they didn’t have cell phones sooner!