Phones and kids. We try not to go too long at Parent Plaza without touching on this topic. We know technology is consuming our kids, not to mention most of the adults. Never fear, we're back at it with another look at kids and technology. The great thing about technology is some really smart person can come up with an improvement or solve a very specific problem. Most parents are bombarded with questions from their kids about when they can get a phone. Parents eventually give in because EVERYONE else already has one. I just read a post over at Scary Mommy that might offer a glimmer of hope for parents who like to have more options.
Image courtesy of: Ivo Sandoval
Deciding on the right time to give your child a cellphone can feel like choosing to turn your kid into a mini-adult, which is why the decision is so fraught for just about all of us. Because once you introduce a smartphone, your kid changes from cuddly to mesmerized. You’ll end up talking to the top of their head with only grunts as answers.
Do we really have to give kids a smartphone?
That’s why we’re so thrilled to find Relay, the world’s first screen-free smartphone. Bet you didn’t even notice it in the picture above, did you? That cute red squircle hanging from the handlebars is the Relay phone, and hey look, there’s NO SCREEN.
Image courtesy of: stephane_p
Wait, a smartphone without a screen? Isn't this like a steak isn't really a steak without A1 sauce?
Why no screen? Because the evidence is mounting that giving young children screens that fit in their hands isn’t great for their bodies OR brains. With Relay, we love the flexibility and safety of having a phone we can give young kids without opening the door to screen addiction and cyberbullying — while also keeping creepy strangers at bay. It’s like Relay made the perfect kid phone.
I like it so far. What else is there to know?
Plus, how cute is this phone?! It’s got one-touch dialing and works like a walkie-talkie that can call Grandma across the country as well as their BFF next door. And get this — the Relay doesn’t collect or store any personal data, so you can keep your kid from becoming consumer data before they have front teeth.
So what age group are we targeting here? It seems like we are looking at kids not even in middle school.
Image courtesy of: melissa.barrausme
The Relay is rugged and water-resistant which is great because tiny hands seem to have a giant talent for destruction. The battery is killer, too, and really lasts two to three days which is great for when your kid forgets to charge it at night.
How is different than having old flip phone?
And guess what? It’s not just for calls. The founders at Relay knew the phone needed to be fun, too, so there’s a Channel Store (think apps for your Relay) with games and music. It’s everything you want in a phone without the internet, and seriously, don’t we all wish we could go back to that life?
Image courtesy of: Jay Kogami
Call me cynical but how long will it take for your child to want to upgrade to a “real” smartphone. This may be a neat product but I'm not really sure it solves anything. If you still have a gaming console and television, there are plenty of screens still available in the house.
Check out the full post below.
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