Smartphones are a new phenomenon in the world. As such, parents have no clear guidelines on when to give their children their first phone. It’s not something any previous generation has dealt with before.
Microsoft asked Canadians, just how old should someone be when they get their first smartphone? Answered varied widely, naturally, but the average age suggested was 15—although, anecdotally, most teens score their first device at least a year or two earlier than that.
Experts point out smartphones can increase the safety of kids, offering access to 911, for example, as well as GPS location-tracking. And phones can be bought without data plans to keep kids from wasting too much time on social media. Still, a teen with a smartphone is always going to spell trouble on some level, whether that’s overusing minutes or data, downloading unsafe apps, or using it when they shouldn’t be, like in class at school, critics point out.