Smartphones were turned loose on the world in 2007. How many of us have stopped to think that the average fifth grader has never known a world without smartphones? Today’s seventh graders were only two years old in 2007, so it is doubtful they can access much memory before smartphones. These children have always had the power of the internet and everything it brings with it right at their fingertips on their parents’ phones. Now they have it right in their back pockets because the average American child receives his first smartphone at the ripe old age of 10 (Psychology Today). As you might expect, that little number comes with some baggage.
Recently I had a conversation with a Trinitas Dad who dropped in for a visit. We talked about college and testing and the different personalities of his teenage children, and somewhere along the way he commented in passing that he had never allowed his children to play video games. He wasn’t bragging or even making a point with that statement; it was just necessary information for something else he was telling me, but that was what I wanted to hear about. How had a family with a house full of teenagers avoided video games without mutiny? When our conversation took a breath, I asked him why he had never allowed his children to play video games. I’ll paraphrase his response, which consisted of three main points, and I’ll chime in with some additional information.