When should you give your kid their first smartphone?

A new campaign is calling on parents to "Wait Until 8th."

Kids are more tech-savvy than ever, but the obsession with devices has some parents worried their children are missing out on their precious childhoods.

A new campaign named "Wait Until 8th" wants parents to wait until their children are in eighth grade – so 13-14 years old – before buying their kids their first smartphone.

The basic reason given on its website is that "childhood is too short to waste on a smartphone," with parents asked to "let kids be kids a little longer."

Last year, TechCrunch reported the average age at which children get their first smartphone has fallen to 10.3 years old.

Wait Until 8th founder Brooke Shannon, of Texas, is calling on parents to resist the pressure to buy their children their first smartphone that early, and sign the pledge that they'll hold off.

Smartphones, the campaign argues, are addictive to children, an impairment to sleep and an academic distraction at a time when education is paramount. 

There are also content concerns too, such as exposing children to cyber-bullying or sexual content.

The campaign comes amid wider discussions about the age at which children are exposed to smartphones. Fortune reports that a group in Colorado is trying to push penalties for companies that sell smartphones to under 13s.

The man behind the effort, Tim Farnum, was inspired to start Parents Against Underage Smartphones after noticing his children becoming "moody, quiet and reclusive" while on their phones.

How does the pledge work?

Wait Until 8th wants parents to pledge not to give their child a smartphone until they've reached 8th grade.

But to ensure it's not just an empty promise, parents agree to sign the pledge as long as "at least 10 other families from your child's grade and school pledge as well."

The idea, then, is that they police each other.

If you're worried about keeping in touch with your children, you can still sign the pledge if you've given your child a basic call-and-text phone.

Next Up

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, July 27

The newest data from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Cold Spring

Charges: Family terrorized by racist stalker who drove truck into their home

The victims say they had been targeted and stalked for 83 days prior to the incident.

Ricky Eloy Ramirez

Charges: TX man was acting paranoid before he shot man in MN hotel

He's accused of shooting the victim six times, killing him.

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Suspect flees deputies on scooter, pickup truck before being Tasered

He was eventually tased while in a third vehicle, and arrested.

bonfire burning restrictions fire

7 counties added to Minnesota DNR's campfire burning ban

This comes amid the ongoing drought that's impacting the entire state.

storm damage

Storm damage in northern MN; severe weather threat through Wednesday

Storms could pack a punch again Tuesday and especially Wednesday.

oscar ortiz = moorhead manhunt

Moorhead police searching for 'armed and dangerous' murder suspect

The Moorhead PD is asking property owners to check their surveillance equipment for the suspect.

Michael Pineda

Twins' trade targets raise their value in win over Tigers

Michael Pineda pitched well but Taylor Rogers left the game with an injury.


Coming soon to your smartphone ... Mario Kart

This is going to be huge for Nintendo.

Coming soon to your smartphone ... Mario Kart

This is going to be huge for Nintendo.

Why are Americans being warned not to buy a Huawei smartphone?

The warning came from U.S. intelligence chiefs on Tuesday.

Do you know when Uber is tracking your location?

We know apps collect data about us. But how much, and how is it being used?

Best Buy tries to make buying a smartphone plan a not-terrible experience

For anyone who's lost the will to live while assessing cellphone options.

What do you get with the new iPhone update?

Animojis and direct chats with businesses are among the new features.

See if that couch from Target looks good in your living room before you actually buy it

A new features on Target's mobile website lets you test it out beforehand. Here's how it works.

How to get your hands on an iPhone X

Demand is expected to outstrip supply for months, so you need to act fast.