Jun 21, 2012

Malia Obama Gets Cell Phone:Teens and Smart Phones

Breaking news-Malia Obama gets a cell phone. Well, compared to some of the silly political stories that are considered news-worthy, why not take a constructive look at the First Teen Malia and check out the nation's teens and smart phones.

First, let's look at the rules of the smart phone game for Malia and Sasha Obama. Sorry Sasha, who is only eleven years old, Obama rules say no cell phone before 12 years old. Malia and Sash will have to wait until they are 17 yrs. old before using Facebook. House rules call for no phone during the week and no television or computer use during the week unless it's for homework. Malia's contacts have been vetted through the Secret Service.

Parents are always trying to gauge the right age to allow their children to have a smart phone which has its plus and minus considerations. Most of the time having a smart phone as a safety net and its value as a tracking and contact tool weighs heavily on the side of allowing a child to have a phone. Everyone can recall saying "text me when you get there". A Pew Study says 23 % of 12-17 years olds have smart phones. Of that number only 8 % of 12-13 year olds have phones vs. 31% of 14-17 year olds.

The median number of daily texts for teens rose from 50 texts in 2006 to 60 texts in 2009. Black teens are the highest volume users with 186 texts per day vs. white teens 149 texts daily. Older teen girls are the highest texters with an average of 100 texts per day, while young teen boys are the most resistant to texting, averaging 20 texts per day. Ninety per cent of teens use smart phones to access the Internet during the past 30 days.

Teens appear to be drifting away from Facebook and use Twitter at a higher rate. There is also a decline in blogging among teens and young adults from 28% in 2006 vs. 14% in 2009. It seems that updating your status and other information on Facebook replaced the need to blog to your friends about changes in your life. Among adults thirty and older, blogging has increased from 7% in 2006 to 11% in 2009.

Smart phone companies are alive and well in 2012, but parents need to keep a close watch to ensure their kids' safety and welfare.



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