Why NOT to give your child a cell phone
I am part way through reading the book "Alone Together" by Sherry Trukle and it is scary! Basic topic is how we are impacted by "social" robots, wireless technology and games.
The first part on social robots is sort of dry, academic and a bit hard to relate to - I mean, no one I know has access to robots costing thousands of dollars. The second part on wireless technology, social networking and games is really eye-opening.
The book is really wanting to make me go "Amish" even more so than I already am (no TV since 1990 - another topic for another time). Even though we think of wireless devices and social media as making us more connected, in reality (according to Trukle's research) they are actually making us less connected and stunting the emotional development of young users.
I feel rather vindicated on holding firm with family limits on television (DvDs only), cell phones (after learner's permit), computer time (1.5 hrs/day between 9AM and 8:30PM - no computers in the bedroom) and game restrictions (no rated M games ever, only approved rated T games). It may make my kids feel "different", but in the long run, it is promoting their ability to relate to real people, deal with their emotions and use technology with appropriate boundaries.