The appropriate age for a child to receive his or her first cell phone has been long been debated. A majority of the respondents in a new online poll say that between the ages of 13 and 15 is best.
The survey by opinion community site SodaHead.com involved 1,066 respondents of various ages, including teenagers. Most said they believe cell phones are suitable for early teens to own but that tablets and smartphones shouldn’t be given out until the recipient is old enough to drive.
Fifty-four percent of the respondents believed children should receive their first cell phone between the ages of 13 and 15, while 24 percent said that children 12 and under should have a phone. About 22 percent said cell phones should be given out only to those ages 16 and older.
Married respondents were more than twice as likely as singles to believe that kids should wait until 16 to get their first cell phone, the poll found. About 33 percent of parents believed 16 is the appropriate age for a phone, while only 17 percent of those who are unmarried said a child should have to wait that long.
When it comes to more expensive high-tech products such as smartphones and tablets, the majority of respondents believed kids shouldn’t own smartphones (66 percent) and tablets (67 percent) until they are 16.
Surprisingly, 64 percent of teen respondents also said teenagers should have to wait until they are 16 to get their first tablet. But only 8 percent of teens believed they should have to wait until 16 for their first cell phone.
SodaHead did not provide a margin of error for its poll findings.