As Canadian children head back to school, many even as young as nine years, will carry smartphones.

As Canadian children head back to school, many even as young as nine years, will carry smartphones.
Photo Credit: CBC

Most kids heading to school with smartphones

Share

There is great peer pressure among Canadian students to have smartphones and when parents can afford them, they do provide the phones and pay for the monthly plans.

Once a luxury, now a necessity

“What was once a luxury is now considered a necessity,” says Carmi Levy, an independent technology analyst and journalist based in London, Ontario. “The ages continue to shrink. So it used to be 14 or 15 years old was the average (to get a cell phone). Now increasingly we’re seeing nine, ten-year-old kids getting it because parents seem to feel that…if all of their friends have it, their kids should have it as well.”

Listen

And parents are not buying old flip phones, but rather smart phones that can support the apps that connect them to social media like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Young people rarely make phone calls, but are more likely to text or use social media apps, says Levy.

Tech analyst Carmi Levy says some parents are intimidated by smartphone technology, but they should still discuss rules about its use.
Tech analyst Carmi Levy says some parents are intimidated by smartphone technology, but they should still discuss rules about its use.

‘This isn’t just another toy’

Too often, parents provide phones without giving their children any guidance about using them, he adds. “That is a recipe for disaster…This isn’t just another toy. It’s a very important gateway to some very adult-like behaviours and they (children) are looking to you for guidance and advice.”

Some parents draw away because they are intimidated by the technology, says Levy. But he says children can handle technology and parents need to talk about the behaviours around it.

‘Very powerful platforms…huge amounts of trouble’

As an example of the dangers, Levy says sharing an inappropriate photo can get one kicked out of school, fired from a job, or make it difficult to find one in the first place. “My concerns are that these are very powerful platforms and left unchecked they can get kids into huge amounts of trouble very quickly.”

In Canada, an unlocked smartphone can cost between $700 and $1,000, or if one signs up for a monthly plan, between $300 and $500. Then depending on the number of minutes, data, and texts one chooses the monthly fee can range between $35 and $100.

Share
Tagged with:
Posted in Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply to David Gerrior Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

2 comments on “Most kids heading to school with smartphones
  1. Avatar Dave Gerrior says:

    I forgot to mention something else. Bullying is a fact of life in schools – take it from me I remember all too well being bullied! Think about the kid who has his phone stolen or smashed by the school bully – what happens to him or her? They end up afraid to tell their parents that on the first week in school they had their phone smashed! What are their options? Well they could do what I did. They don’t tell the truth because that would mean having to tell the school officials that “Joe Bully” smashed my phone. Like an abuse person they accept responsibility and say something like “I fell down on my way home and broke it”. Now his parents are mad at him because he is not responsible enough to care for his possessions. A kid who is bullied won’t tell his parents or the school because they would haul the bully up for discipline. And what happens as soon as the school officials are gone? The bully hunts down the kid and beats the crap out of him. And on it goes. The cycle of bullying is the worst possible time for a kid – Again trust me I know. Giving a kid a $200 phone makes him a target for all the bullies in his school. If I could plead with parents and school officials please ban phones in the school or a lot of kids are going to suffer abuse and who is to blame? In my book it’s the school officials who don’t recognize the sad reality of bullying! Ban cell phones and don’t give the bullies another target, please.

  2. Avatar David Gerrior says:

    I feel sorry for the parents who cannot afford the outrageous expense of an Iphone or similar product. It’s bad enough that parents have to find the money for running shoes and now on top of everything else they are expected to shell out $80 a month for a phone for their kid! Personally, I think schools should ban cell phones. It puts added stress to the parents and kids who can’t afford what should be a luxury. The best way to create a level paying field for the parents and kids is to ban they outright. I can’t think of a real reason for a kid to have a cell phone. Dave