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This Month In Life
  • Press the Hold Button
    Word on the street is that upper executives at Silicon Valley don’t give their children cell phones. Do they know something we don’t or are they just using common sense? If you’re considering giving your child a phone, do your research. Holding off may be a smart idea. Read >>
  • Setting the Color Mood
    Colors have an effect on your mood, behavior, and feelings. Interior decorators know this and apply this principle when designing spaces. Debating about what color to repaint a room in your home? Maybe this article will help you decide. Read >>
  • Finding Home after 65
    Though known as the silver and golden years, health problems may start to multiply at this time. Additionally, this new phase of life often necessitates the need for a new living situation. Whether you’re a senior citizen or are caring for an elderly family member, here are some common options for senior citizen living. Read >>
  • The Doctor Will See You Now
    You’re at the doctor’s office for your annual well-check visit or because you’re sick. A nurse asks a few questions and does a few tests. When the doctor finally arrives, he asks more questions and does a few more tests. What are all the tests for and what do they show? Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Press the Hold Button

You may want to hold off giving your child a cell phone. Here’s why.

Word on the street is that upper executives at Silicon Valley don’t give their children cell phones. Do they know something we don’t or are they just using common sense? Just over 100 years ago it was a big deal for a family to own one telephone in the home. Not long ago, a home had maybe two or three telephones connected to one landline. Now, parents, teenagers, and kids all have their own personal cell phone they carry with them wherever they go.

The age a child gets his or her own smart phone is becoming younger and younger, and it’s gone from being a luxury to a right of passage and a way for parents to feel their children are safer. However, with a smart phone comes great responsibility and risk. Is the risk and responsibility worth it for children? If you’re considering giving your child a phone, do your research. Holding off may be a smart idea.

The Cost

Multiple cell phone lines add up. It’s not a cheap monthly expense to add another line. For some families, the cost alone is enough to prevent children from having a phone. Consider the responsibility level of your child. Are they prone to break or lose things? They may not be ready for the responsibility of protecting and keeping an expensive piece of technology in their pocket all day long.

Health Risks

The more time a child or teen spends on a screen, the greater their risk of obesity. Sitting around staring at a screen all day is time spent being inactive.

Excessive media use is also connected to a lack of sleep and a decline in academic performance. Who wants to do homework when you can play games on your phone?

I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children. - Athena Chavarria, Executive Assistant at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Social Impact

There are social risks and consequences for a child using a smart phone. It takes a certain level of maturity to use social media and text. What you post online can be used against you years down the road, and mistakes made today can cause lasting consequences.

Cyberbullying is also a danger previous generations never had. A child or teenager may be on the giving or receiving end. Studies show kids in third through fifth grade are especially susceptible to cyberbullying.

But it doesn’t end there. Social media brings the risks of a child feeling left out or having a life that’s less impressive, fun, and worthwhile than others. It’s easy to compare your looks or your life to others’ posts. Low self-esteem and depression are common among kids on social media. Suicide rates are also higher.

Access to the Internet, text, and social media put sexual content in the hands of young people. Pornography and sexting are far from harmless and have lasting consequences on the sexual and emotional health of people of all ages.

With constant digital communication, younger generations are failing to learn proper face-to-face manners and ways of communicating. Staring at screens while walking down the street, sitting at the dinner table, or hanging out in a room full of friends prevents real-life interactions and experiences that are vital to developing healthy communication skills.

Habit Forming

Pleasure centers in the brain are lit up when a text is received, a post is liked, a funny picture is sent, or a game is won. Over time, the immediate gratification youngsters get from phone usage can become, in a sense, addictive or compulsive. Recent studies reveal there is a connection between cell phone usage and a teen’s delayed entry into adulthood. After all, with a phone in hand, it’s hard to detach and enter the real world of work and responsibility.