Wait Until 8th is a new social media campaign encouraging parents to delay giving cell phones to children until at least 8th grade.
Moms all across the country are taking the pledge. The movement’s official website aims to “empower parents to say yes to waiting for the smartphone.” Organizers hope that by providing a forum, parents will delay providing smartphones en masse and decrease the pressure kids feel to have a smartphone.
Over the past several years, a growing number of Silicon Valley CEOs and Executives have publically discussed denying their children smartphones, believing them to be harmful socially, emotionally, and educationally. This article in Education News discusses how some high profile parents opted to enrol their children in low-tech schools to counteract this issue.
In response to the growing issues with smartphones and younger students, a group of nine moms got together and launched the campaign. It’s been gaining national attention over the last several months, with news outlets such as CNN and ABC News covering the campaign.
According to their website, the movement wants to delay giving kids smartphones for these research-backed reasons:
- The phones can be addictive
- They become an academic distraction
- Smartphones can hinder healthy sleep
- They interfere with relationships
- They can increase the risk for anxiety and depression
- Smartphones can increase a child’s risk for cyber bullying
While the pledge encourages families to delay providing a smartphone, it doesn’t discourage a basic phone that can only call and text. The pledge aims to specifically delay giving smartphones with internet capabilities to children.
Interested in taking the pledge? Head over to Wait Until 8th and fill out their pledge form. Once 10 families at your child’s school have signed the pledge, it goes into effect. The goal is to have as many children in your child’s grade sign the pledge as possible; the more families participating, the less pressure kids will feel to have a smartphone.
Mitchell Kapor, a giant in the computer industry, once stated: “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.”
Until parents can help children learn to manage the hydrant, this social media campaign aims to limit younger children’s access in order to foster a healthier, safer childhood.