Parents nationwide signing smartphone pledge - WNEM TV 5

Parents nationwide signing smartphone pledge

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Thousands of parents are signing a pledge not to buy smartphones for their kids until they are in eighth grade, but others say that's just not realistic.

Jim Lees and his son, Quentin, just happened to be on their way to get a new cell phone for the 12-year-old. He accidentally left it in his pocket and it went in the washing machine.

Quentin said he uses his cellphone mostly for games. Meanwhile, Quintin’s twin sister uses her cellphone mostly for social media, their father said.  

Lees said it was a family decision for his kids to have cell phones.

"Part of it was logistics. Activities taking them here and there picking them up and coordinating,” Lees said.

Other families in New Jersey and nationwide are signing up for the "Wait Until 8th Pledge."

"This pledge will help unify parents because it will be easier for them to stick to their guns,” said Tammy Gold, a clinical social worker.

The pledge is designed to flip the script on peer pressure.

The idea is to get 10 other families in your area to sign up so your child is not the only one without a smartphone under the age of 13.

"With the smartphone comes social media access to viewing thing kids may not need to see,” Gold said.

While some parents said it’s a great idea, others said it may be unrealistic.

"We were trying to hold off as long as possible, unfortunately I think socially that's how the kids communicate,” Danielle Reising said.

Reising recognizes the advantages and disadvantages.

"In a town like this when they come downtown, it's useful because there are no pay phones left for the kids to call to say I'm here, I'm there,” she said.

Many believe kids are too wrapped up in the technology and need to socialize without the devices.

Parents are still encouraged to sign the pledge even if their child has a basic flip phone, as long as its limited to only calls or texts.

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