By: Samantha Roughgarden
Nowadays, kids are getting phones at a very young age. Unlike the many generations before them, they are being exposed to things that were once considered not appropriate for children. I wasn’t allowed to get a phone until I was in 6th grade, and even then, it was a flip phone, used specifically to keep in contact with my parents. From that point, I got a better quality phone with each bi-yearly upgrade. Growing up, my mom always believed in checking my photos, text messages, and all my social media accounts, as well as not allowing me to have my phone past 9:30 at night. Now, most of my friends will look at me and think I’m joking, but I’m not. At first, I was annoyed with my parents because I didn’t like the idea of being monitored so closely. Eventually, I stopped fighting them and let it happen because I have nothing to hide. I realized that I get too attached to my phone, as if it is a piece of me.
Looking back, I realize that my parents tracking my phone activity was, and still is, very beneficial to me. By my parents taking my phone, I had time to focus on other things, such as my schoolwork or myself. Every teenager struggles in some way while being in high school, but I think that social media and phones add fuel to this fire. For instance, our parents dealt with the same stresses of high school that we deal with today. However, they did not have the added weight of social media. Phones enable kids to make stupid decisions, especially if their parents don’t check up on them often.
The way my parents and I see it, a phone is a privilege that can easily be taken away. To be fair, most teenagers do not pay their own phone bills; their parents do that. This should automatically give parents an authoritative stance over their kids in relation to their phone and social media usage. Phones are a part our everyday life and always will be because our generation grew up with it. Most teenagers and kids would freak out if their parents were to check their phones, but why? Kids become too reliant on the technology that they are given. Many, therefore, have lots of things to hide, whether it be poor decision making or simply having unethical photos or messages.
Having a phone or a social media outlet can easily lead to bullying. In addition, because of ignorance, kids, often unknowingly, put too much information about themselves on the internet for the world to see. We use social media and our phones as a hiding mechanism. When fighting with friends, most teenagers are not able to say the words they type. It’s an easy escape from a lot of things. A recent study shows that teenagers from ages 13-17 send an average of over 3,500 text messages every month. Though this number seems considerably small, teenagers can be vicious; you never know what could have possibly been said in the messages of a teenager’s phone. Being a kid or a teenager in this day in age is hard; that’s why parental guidance is so important. Thus, parents should monitor their kids phone usage. Although it may seem overbearing, monitoring a child’s phone is an easy way to prevent them from going down the wrong path.