We have conducted a massive experiment on kids for the last decade with tragic consequences. Parents have given kids largely unmonitored and unlimited access to smartphones with addictive and harmful apps.
Kids have had 24/7 access to the 4 billion people around the world with internet access. Plus access to adult content with the simple click of a button stating they are 'Over 18.'
With the decade plus of experience, we now have enough data to look at the alarming statistics.
It's not a surprise that the most popular apps have done the most harm to kids. Tweens and teens seek ways to be more like adults and have gravitated towards doing their 'risky' behavior online where it leaves a permanent record.
Fix App Ratings provides a good guide to recommended app ratings for parents. Not surprisingly most popular apps carry a 17+ recommended rating and a suggestion that no kids under 15 access them.
It's easy to think your kid is safe. We used to and unwittingly put our 11 year-old daughter in harms way. We started Village after a predator targeted our daughter on Instagram, and Instagram and Snapchat caused major anxiety and depression. Read our story.
Kids need responsible limits for the apps they use and the amount of time. Change can't wait since kids are in harms way. Learn more on our education page or view the parent guide to set healthy limits for your family.
"it is clear from research that something bad is happening to American adolescents, and that smartphone use has spread much faster than our understanding of its long-run impact on developing brains."Institute for Family Studies