To better understand the landscape for families and mobile phones, AT&T commissioned GfK Roper Public Affairs for a national study on parents and children’s (ages 8–17) views. Among the findings:
- On Average, kids receive their first mobile phone at age 12, and 34% get a smartphone.
- 53% of kids report that they have ridden with someone who was texting and driving.
- 22% say they’ve been bullied via a text message by another kid.
- 46% of kids ages 11–17 say they have a friend who has received a message or picture that their parents would not have liked because it was too sexual.
- 90% of kids think it’s OK for parents to set rules on how kids use their phone; 66% of kids say they have rules and 92% think the rules are fair (consistent across age groups and types of phone)
- If kids had to choose one technology device for the rest of their lives, the majority say they would choose a mobile phone above all else — computer, television, tablet.
- 75% of kids think their friends are addicted to phones.
- 62% of parents are concerned that they are not able to fully monitor everything their child is doing and seeing on the phone.
- 40% of kids with a mobile phone say their parents have not talked to them about staying safe and secure when using the mobile phone.
- 58% of parents say that their mobile phone provider offers tools or resources for parents to address issues like overages, safety, security and monitoring.
If you’re among the 38% of parents at a loss as to how to help your children be safer on their mobile phones, see my blog Using Mobile Phones Safely.