Please don’t buy your child a smartphone for Christmas

BY Erin Eves
Every year at Christmas time, parents’ minds are with the same question – ‘what will we get our dear children for presents?’

And even though mums and dads hope to see their child’s face fill with joy at their gifts on Christmas morning, very often the child will have spent weeks or even months dictating what they want.

In many situations, the child really is the Sergeant Major of the house.

However, I suppose we need to cut them some slack, as in this ever-growing digital age, it really is difficult for children to understand the spirit of Christmas.

Many moons ago, presents were more sentimental. And even though we occasionally received  something that we did not entirely want – such as yet another pair of socks – it really didn’t matter. We made the most of it because ‘it’s the thought that counts’, as they say.

From receiving apples to handed-down dolls, back in the good ‘le days, Christmas was affordable and simple.

However, nowadays, it’s fair to say that technology has taken over much of a young person’s life.

Controversially, children as young as seven are becoming infatuated with the idea of owning a mobile phone – to be like the millions of other kids in making their parents surrender into agreement.

It’s a shame that parents, instead of sticking to common sense, would give their little monster anything they want to keep them satisfied.

Mobile phones – with access to the internet – are truly a hidden weapon when placed in the hands of a child not mature enough to use it.

It has been said before that the internet can be a metaphorical knife, with the potential to destroy lives.

Underneath the phone’s fancy lit-up screen and cool apps lies a world of cyber bullying, for example, where self-harm and depression are a direct result.

It is evidential that children have become drawn into being the victim of this negative behaviour, or even posting inappropriate pictures of themselves because they have been influenced at such a 1young age by the media.

We are becoming a nation of detectives, surveying and identifying any physical dangers at all – with the exception of the mobile phone.

However, don’t get me wrong. As a child becomes a teenager and starts attending secondary school, I do think it is necessary to be in possession of a phone. A smart phone equals a social life outside of school hours – and this is something that is very important.

The constant drum of sleep, school, homework and exam revision does get a little tedious afterall, and there’s very little time to socialise between classes.

A phone allows teenagers like myself to organise nights out (or, lets be honest, gossip and judge like any other teenager does).
On the whole, it gives us space to do what we want (for once!) and lets us have a break during a marathon of daily school life.

But back to the point at hand. Seven, eight, nine and ten year olds really don’t need a phone… Please don’t give into their lavish demands just yet.

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