Should Pre-Teens Be Allowed To Own Smartphones?

Image courtesy of DaveLawler

From their earliest moments, some children are constantly connected to a screen. By the time many kids hit middle school, they already have their own smartphone. However, some parents not only want to limit their kids’ use of these devices, they want the state to ban sales of smartphones to kids under 13.

A group called Parents Against Underage Smartphones is pushing a ballot initiative in Colorado that would prohibit sales of smartphones to children under 13, reports The Coloradoan.

Really, this would come down to preventing parents from purchasing the devices: The proposal requires retailers to submit reports to the state’s department of revenue verifying that they’d asked about who each sold smartphone was intended to be used by.

Retailers that run afoul of those rules would first receive a warning. Selling a phone for a kid’s intended use within two years of that initial warning would trigger a $500 fine.

“Eventually, kids are going to get phones and join the world, and I think we all know that, but little children, there’s just no good that comes from that,” the non-profit group’s founder, Tim Farnum, told the Coloradoan.

As one would expect with such a proposal, there are many who think it goes too far, including Sen. John Kefalas, who sees it as a government intrusion into the home.

“Frankly, I think it should remain a family matter,” Kefalas told the paper. “I know there have been different proposals out there regarding the internet and putting filters on websites that might put kids at risk. I think ultimately, this comes down to parents … making sure their kids are not putting themselves at risk.”

In any case, the initiative still has a long way to go: It still needs almost 300,000 signatures to get on the ballot in Nov. 2018.