New Worries About Children With Mobile Phones

Three years ago, when my older son, Ben, was entering middle school, I wrote a column recounting a debate with my husband about getting him a cellphone. Was he too young? Were we being overly indulgent? How would we hold out against his younger brother, Gabriel, who immediately began badgering for his own phone?Now Ben is entering high school; his brother is going into middle school. Gabriel has had his own cellphone since he was 9 and began walking to and from school by himself. And our past worries seem so quaint.Back then, I wasn’t worried about inappropriate downloads. Or questionable sales techniques aimed at my preteenager. Or excessive texting (I’m not even going to touch “sexting”). Or the sheer annoyance of a cellphone clutched in my sons’ hands like a security blanket.To read this report in The New York Times in full, see:

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