“Pester Power” causes sales in mobile devices and tablets to surge. Parents just can’t deprive their precious young of the new shiny gadgets; retailers are elated. But, is their a huge problem being overlooked?
Of Britain’s 10-year-olds, about 73% have their own personal mobile phone. For this very reason, UK parents earned the title of “Generation Give-In.” Now that Christmas is around the corner, this is music to the ears of companies such as Apple (APPL) and Samsung (SSNLF).
Zali Huseyin, mother of 10-year-old Elliz, says, “A lot of the children have got all of the new technology, iPads, tablets and so on, so yes a lot of pressure really.”
And 10-year-old Elliz says, “All my friends had a phone and I really wanted one.”
Children’s demand for mobile devices varies around the globe. Of France’s 10-year-olds, 10% own a mobile device. For the United States, it’s 30%. In Poland, an astounding 80% of 10-year-old children own a mobile device. This craze isn’t limited to cellphones. Before starting school, toddlers have often mastered the tablet computer.
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Lucy Bailey, a 3.5-year-old, says, “You can do different games, you can.”
Lucy is only 3.5 years of age, and her 18-month-old sister Annie is already showing interest in mobile devices, according to their mother Helen Bailey.
Helen Bailey, mother to Lucy and Annie, says, “As soon as one child gets it, they’ve all had a go on it so they all want it. Also they see it on the telly so they’re watching adverts on telly and it’s ‘I want that, I want that,’ so it’s a constant reminder to them they haven’t got it.”
In this instance, Generation Give-in’s inability to say “No,” is conducive for sales, but what about the welfare of the children? Mumset, a parenting website, shares a few thoughts via Katie O’Donovan.
Katie O’Donovan, Mumset, says,”I think while parents can see the benefits of buying some of these products, they also do think that their kids perhaps want too much when they’re too young. That actually a smartphone or a tablet isn’t quite right for a seven-, eight- or nine-year-old who is convinced that they actually want one of those things.”
It’s a tough debate: Is it right or wrong for children to own cellphones and tablets? Well, that debate won’t end anytime soon. In the meantime, plenty of little children, especially in the UK, can expect little flat boxes under the tree this Christmas.