5 Pros and 5 Cons of Smartphone Use in Children

Children are interacting with smartphones from an increasingly early age. Parents must evaluating the advantages and disadvantages and then decide when to let them start using them. Continue reading to find out more about this subject.
5 Pros and 5 Cons of Smartphone Use in Children

Written by Thady Carabaño

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Have you ever wondered what are the pros and cons of smartphone use in children from an early age? Don’t worry if not, just continue reading to find out everything you need to know about it.

Cell phones are playing an increasingly important role in the lives of children. Although, parents, educators, psychologists, technologists, advertisers, manufacturers, and retailers have different opinions on the subject. Do you want to know whether or not you should introduce a smartphone into the lives of your little ones?

What’s a smartphone?

A smartphone is a type of phone with greater connectivity, capacity to store data and facilities than a conventional mobile phone. It’s basically a pocket computer.

Much has been discussed regarding the excessive use of smartphones during childhood and from an increasingly early age. Should they be allowed or not? In order to make the best decision, you must analyze the advantages and disadvantages and decide what’s best for your children and family dynamics.

The advantages of smartphone use among children

Although technology can contribute to various aspects of development, it’s important to be well informed about how to use it appropriately. Therefore, you need to know the advantages of using electronic devices during childhood.

1. Smartphone use is an inevitable reality

We live in a technologically-marked era, so not letting a child have access to a smartphone can be contradictory. After all, how do you explain to children that smartphones can be harmful if you don’t allow them to play with computers and tablets? Especially if you use them

2. It’s an opportunity to gain more knowledge

After class, smartphone use guided by teachers can drive children to look up information on the subject. This allows children to learn how to use educational tools by searching for information of interest in the assignment and promotes thorough research instead of mere plagiarism.

Thus, educators can use a smartphone in the teaching-learning process, as this study published in Suma de Negocios points out.

3. They can help promote safety and contact

It’s really a plus that parents can use their cell phone to get in touch with their children by knowing how and where they are in the event of an emergency. Most cell phones are equipped with GPS systems, which allows parents to track their cell phone and thus know where their child is.

4. It encourages responsibility

When parents allow their children to use smartphones, it can be a way to teach them how to be responsible. Not only when it comes to taking good care of the cell phone but also with the time and usage of the device.

And this, as pointed out in this article carried out by professionals from the University of Navarra (Spain), it’s up the teachings that parents and educators provide in this regard.

5. They can easily access learning tools

Smartphones can help children use calendars in order to know the dates of exams, take voice notes to remember something of interest, as well as saving phone numbers of their parents, teachers, and friends. They can also take a picture of an outline on the whiteboard, which will help them learn.

The disadvantages of smartphone use in children

Cell phone in the hand of a woman

Of course, it isn’t all good when it comes to smartphones. There are also shady behaviors that lead to risks in children who use smartphones. Here are some disadvantages of introducing children into the world of technology at a young age.

1. Using Smartphones affects children’s fine motor skills

A child needs to learn to hold a pencil and learn to write before he can use a smartphone. The grip they perform with their index finger and thumb is one of the fundamental milestones of every child’s psychomotor development, although more research is needed at the moment.

2. It encourages social isolation.

Like video games, the constant use of a smartphone leads to social isolation. A child may play, surf the internet, interact in social media, but not truly communicate with the people around them. And so says this study published in Politics and Society. Developing social skills is an important part of their development.

Check out this article, too Fun Offline Activities for Children

3. It promotes low-level mobility and more childhood obesity

The excessive usage of smartphone leaves children sitting on a piece of furniture or lying in bed all the time. And so points out this article published in RqR Community Nursing. A lack of physical activity has serious repercussions on the quality of life of children.

4. There’s a loss of privacy

Smartphones have all the tools that can keep a record of everyday life. Your child can take photos and videos and share them on social media. Their life may become focused on getting a “a like,” a comment, or getting followers. This overexposure of privacy can have serious complications such as the ones we’re about to describe below.

5. They may become a victim or perpetrator of cyber crimes

The uncontrolled use of cell phones expose children to cyberbullying or sexual predators. A child may mistakenly post an intimate picture or video and be a victim of sexual harassment.

Likewise, they may take a picture or share the private content of another child and harass them, as evidenced by this work conducted by researchers at the University of Navarra.

What should parents do about smartphone use in children?

Mom and son using smartphones

The range of advantages and disadvantages of children using smartphones is extensive. Therefore, it’s a parent’s responsibility to monitor how their children use their devices as well as the things they can access online. There are many applications for monitoring your child’s smartphone usage. In fact, all you have to do is be informed, evaluate, and decide what’s best for your kids.

It’s also important to be present throughout your child’s digital education process. You need to be there, attentive, supervising, and aware of what your children are doing at all times. What content are they visiting? What are they sharing? Finally, smartphones are a wonderful tool in the right hands.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.