Mobile Technology: An Introduction

E-Parenting: Mobile Technology
The technology that is available to kids today can be overwhelming for parents—especially when it comes to devices that kids can put in their backpacks and carry with them—whether it’s a cell phone, a hand-held gaming system, a laptop computer, a smart phone, an iPad, mp3 player, or something else. This mobile technology makes it easier for kids to fit whatever they want to access in their pockets, while making it more difficult for parents to monitor what their kids are doing.

Understanding the Basics

Click on the links in the left menu to learn more about different types of mobile technology, and get started on the path to making sure that your child is using mobile technology for positive purposes, and not using it to get in trouble.

Did You Know?

  • 75% of teenagers and 58% of 12-year-olds have a cell phone.1
  • Teenage girls are twice as likely as teenage guys to research sensitive health situations on the internet,2 and mobile technology gives them even more privacy to do so.
  • Teenagers are more likely to ask for a laptop computer than other types of computers because of a laptop’s mobility. Two out of three young adults (ages 18 to 29) own a laptop or netbook. 3
  • Kids see a cell phone as a lifeline. The average teenager sends more than 2,000 text messages each month through a cell phone.4
  • Two out of three teenage cell phone users take photos with the camera built into their cell phone.5 One out of two likes to play the pre-installed games that come with their phone.6
Even though cell phones and other mobile devices have become a part of everyday life, it’s still important that you talk with your kids about rules and etiquette. By encouraging responsible mobile technology use from your child, you’ll help ensure that he continues responsible use throughout his teens and into adulthood.
   
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1. Amanda Lenhart and others, Social Media & Mobile Internet Use among Teens and Young Adults (Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, 2010), 4.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Pete Blackshaw, “A Pocket Guide to Social Media and Kids,” http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/a-pocket-guide-to-social-media-and-kids
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.