IT’S no secret that technology has become an important part of our everyday lives – and even young children have developed an attachment to it.
But while it may be a necessity at some point, especially to stay in touch, a mother recently went viral after revealing that her three-year-old son has his own phone.
According to Dakota, a mother of three, her mother had gifted her toddler a mini “phone” for his third birthday – and it comes with a camera, a voice recording app, fun games to pass the time, and music you can rock along to.
She revealed further functions in the videoIncludes calendar, calculator, alarm clock, flashlight and of course an adorable phone case with a cute unicorn design in baby pink.
“It’s not really a phone, of course, but it has everything a toddler would try on your phone.”
“You can plug it into your laptop and play music for them,” Dakota further gushed about the Amazon purchase, which cost £36.99.
“She can set timers and alarms, which is so cute,” Dakota continued, confident that “so many toddlers will love seeing that too.”
But while her child may be quite happy with the brand new gift, the pricey purchase sparked complete discord among social media users, with some jumping into comments to vilify the mother.
Although the phone was a toy, many felt the child was far too young for a technology-inspired gift.
One TikTok fan said: “I wasn’t allowed to own a phone until I was 13.”
“Same thing, and then it was a flip phone, not a smartphone,” another replied.
“I got my first phone when I was 13 and had the best childhood without screens,” chimed in a third.
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Others also pointed out possible security and privacy issues, with one advising: “I would put a sticker on the front camera for security reasons.”
While someone added that their daughter won’t be able to “hold a pencil,” there were also plenty of parents eager to grab a copy for themselves.
One mom giggled: “My little one would love this.” “She loves taking photos of me in some states.”
“I really love this, it’s a good idea, a safe way for kids to have a little phone,” another person said.
But what do experts think about the phone craze, since one in four children under the age of six owns a smartphone? And at what age should you start thinking about giving your child a phone?
Parenting experts have warned that children under 11 should not have their own smartphones due to “fears of depression”.
Dr. Jon Goldin, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Children often say to their parents: ‘All my friends are getting phones and you won’t let me do that’.”
“I don’t think we can legislate, but these guidelines would help parents have conversations with 10-year-olds.”
Dr. Goldin told The Daily Telegraph: “We don’t think social media companies are sufficiently policing themselves.
“We support stricter age verification as a bare minimum.”