U.S. Children On Average Receive Their Very First Smartphone At Age 10

About a decade ago, many of us had a cell phone. Unlike today, however, most people were rarely attached to them unless they were trying to set a new texting record or needed to beat the high score in some Snake clone. But today, even more of us have smartphones, and unlike a decade ago, we are permanently glued to them.

Today, we use our smartphones not just to get in touch with someone, but to read news, watch shows, view pictures, and so on and so forth. As time passes, phones are only going to become even more integral in our lives.

Children Smartphone
Flickr: Juhan Sonin

While it's easy to wonder how adults have become more glued to their phones, we can't overlook what's happening with our kids. Would you believe that the average age a child is given their first phone is a mere 10.3 years old? Or how about the fact that 39% of kids aged 11.4 receive their first social media account? The times are sure changing.

This information comes from a report put together by Influence Central, titled Kids & Tech: The Evolution of Today's Digital Natives. The same report highlights the fact that 55% of kids (from 26% in 2012) now prefer a tablet to keep them busy during a car ride, while 45% prefer a smartphone. Also in 2012, 42% of kids had access to the internet on their own laptop or tablet; today, that number sits at 64%.

Wearing Xiaomi Mi Bunny Smartwatch
Kid-centric smartwatches could replace a smartphone at a young age

One thing that's important to note is that these numbers take into account real phones that kids are given. If a child is given a phone that's tailored for them, and as such is not full-featured, it's not counted.

Influence Central's CEO and founder Stacy DeBroff notes that while kids are being given phones at such a young age, it appears one of the main reasons is to have easy access to getting in touch with their parents. With that being the case, we can't help but wonder if kid-tailored smartwatches, like those Xiaomi recently released, would prevent parents from giving their children phones so early. Of course, it could be argued that it doesn't matter what age a child gets a smartphone, an opinion which could vary wildly from person to person.

What are your thoughts? Have parents gone completely bonkers by turning children into smartphone zombies at an early age?