One of the biggest concerns, as previously stated, is that long-term exposure to a smartphone from an earlier age can have a detrimental effect on social skills and childrens’ ability to communicate ‘normally’ with one another. Whether this be an inability to communicate in a context that isn’t online, using inappropriate language in a public space, or simply not interacting at all, it’s important for parents to ensure that their children are interacting in a physical and digital context.
On the other hand, smartphones do give children the ability to remain in touch with friends and family outside of normal allotted times. For example, children can build on new friendships they’ve made in school by texting after-the-fact, helping them to interact. Equally, if you have family that live further away, a smartphone allows children to connect with relative as and when they want, be that via text, call or even video.