Children are becoming more and more addicted to technology, with the average age a child gets a cell phone being as young as 10 years old. Instead of running around on playgrounds or having play dates with friends, kids now are sitting inside, staring at screens or scrolling through apps that are typically designed for adults. This can be extremely detrimental for a child’s brain growth as they are still rapidly developing at these ages.
Data from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study that began in 2018 indicates that children who spent more than two hours a day on screen-time activities scored lower on language and thinking tests, and some kids with more than seven hours a day of screen time experienced thinning of the brain’s cortex, the area of the brain related to critical thinking and reasoning.
In addition to the negative impact on brain growth, social media apps like TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram can have negative effects on children. These apps have come under fire for putting harmful content in front of children, and have even intentionally lured them in until the point of addiction. “Some of the accounts ended up lost in rabbit holes of similar content, including one that just watched videos about depression,” according to a study by The Wall Street Journal. “Others were served videos that encouraged eating disorders, sexualized minors and discussed suicide.”
To help combat these major issues that arise when children have “adult” cell phones, entrepreneur Stephen Dalby created Gabb Wireless, which offers smart phone devices that have no need for parental controls. Children using the Gabb Z2 phone can make phone calls, text, take photos, calculate and have a GPS — without the distractions of social media and addictive games.