Preteens don’t need smartphones

By Cherae Hunt |Asst. News Editor|

My youngest sister is 12 years old and has a smartphone.

When she showed it to me, I was bewildered—she doesn’t need a smartphone—I didn’t even get a cell phone until I was in high school and it sure wasn’t a smartphone.

“Today about 80 percent of teens between 12 and 17 own a cell phone, and about half of those own a smart phone—that’s about twice the rate from just two years ago,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and senior director of research at the Consumer Electronics Association.

I thought to myself: am I suffering from the green eyed monster, or does my sister truly need a smartphone at age 12?

I think when you are that young and impressionable, there is no need for a smart phone.

A basic phone where she can call someone if in trouble or ready to get picked up from the mall is enough.

Smartphones have too many applications installed that can cause a lot of unnecessary issues that cannot be undone.

Let’s face it, with smartphones comes cameras and texting, and with peer pressure they can lead to sexting.

The thought of my baby sister sexting some dumb, little boy who doesn’t even know how to wash his own underwear gets my blood boiling.

He doesn’t even care about my sister’s well-being but is willing to say anything, including ‘I love you’, just to see her naked.

“Participants of a study at Drexel University acknowledged sexting as young as 13, but the vast majority were 16 and 17 when they sexted. And very few reported negative consequences from their actions. Only 8%, for instance, said they endured humiliation or a tarnished reputation,” stated in a Time magazine article.

Then I thought, if my mom and I constantly checked her phone, we could possibly prevent her from sexting.


That’s why the cellphone demons (aka the cellphone manufacturers) created the delete button, so she can hide stuff from me.

However, sexting isn’t the only issue—smartphones nowadays come installed with social network services, like Facebook and Instagram.

I don’t know what other people see on their Facebook feed, but my friends are disgusting and raunchy, constantly posting provocative stuff on their accounts.

Scrolling through my Facebook feed, I see posts from acquaintances, like “If I fu**ing make you c*m you got to promise not to stress me,” (insert stupid irrelevant emojis here).

Would anyone want their preteen sibling to see to these kind of things? I think not.

Instagram is worse, you can’t scroll through three photos on your feed without some girl in a thong and a bra with a caption about being “one” with yourself and how your “spirit should be free of all negativity.”

Yeah right, especially coming from a half naked woman with 20,000 followers and 3,000 likes on that one picture in less than an hour because of her physicality.

“Posing in a lace bra and a G-string on Instagram doesn’t give the perception that you a “lingerie model”… it makes you look cheap… like the only value you offer is your body,” wrote Charles J. Orlando in “Attention Instagram “models”: You are selling yourselves.

“You’re suffering from a lack of self-esteem and are looking externally to make yourself feel good about you. But you’re kidding yourself. It’s called self-esteem because it emanates from the self,” added Orlando.

So what age is the right age to have a smart phone?

In my opinion, age 15. I feel like at that age they can be mentally mature enough to handle a smartphone device.

A caring parent should instill a sense of self-esteem and self-worth in their child so that may lessen insecurities.

My sister is a smart and responsible young lady, yet I, as a protective older sister, don’t want her to deal with unnecessary peer pressures.

I want my sister to enjoy being a kid while she can because once you grow up, it is a cyclone of unnecessary drama and smartphones can potentially contribute to it.


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