Things to Consider Before Handing Your Teenager a Smartphone

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More and more teenagers now own smart phones. According to a report released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, almost ¼ of children between the ages of 14 and 17 own a smart phone. While these phones are pretty good devices which allow individuals to be connected to the world, there are some dangers associated with it due to which teenagers must be protected prior to handing them a phone.

Some tips were shared on this matter by an app website called the Appolicious. Firstly, they mention that check in services should only be limited to you and close friends. Due to a number of social networking sites, it is very easy for anyone to share where they are at any given time. While on the surface it seems to be fun ways of letting friends know where you are, it can also cause strangers to have access to such information as well. While there are ways to restrict who sees such location updates and statuses, teenagers must be made to not share their location with everyone and should keep it restricted to only family and some close friends. It should also be kept in mind that for a small fee, most cell phone carriers have services which can help parents track their children’s whereabouts through their phones. Several apps are also available which can be downloaded free of cost from Amazon AppStore for Android and used for the same purpose.

Texting while driving is something which shouldn’t be kept as an option. A number of car accidents take place because teenagers text while they are driving. While everyone is aware of the dangers of doing so, they continue to do it anyway because it is highly tempting. Parents should be aware that similar to the check in services mentioned before, a number of cell phone carriers also provide a service which doesn’t allow a person to text while they are in motion at certain speeds. This is made possible due to the GPS technology which is found in most smart phones. Another service by the name of tXtBlocker also prevents texting while a person is in motion while the service DriveSafe.ly which is free allows text messages to be read aloud so that the attention of the driver remains on the road continuously.

Another option to consider is getting a second line. While it may seem unnecessary it can be a good way to go over the prepaid phone plan on your child’s smart phone. By having a second line, limits can be set to how often a phone can be used for texting as well as making phone calls. This makes it possible to avoid getting a large bill from the cell phone carrier. It is also a way for providing the tracking of location and curbing texting services similar to what has been mentioned above.

To avoid getting a large phone bill, you should encourage your child to make use of wi-fi when downloading apps, video clips or when playing games. When they are at home, they should be connected to the home wi-fi and when outdoors, they should look for locations which provide the use of wi-fi. Apps are also available for most phones which allow users to find any wi-fi networks in their location.

While giving a smart phone to your teenager might seem scary and an additional expense, if used wisely it can be helpful in allowing your child to contact you in the case of an emergency. It can also be used properly to get help with any school work while apps can be used to remind them of things they need to get done.

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