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My Modern Mobile Family

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The year 2000 doesn't seem that long ago but if you consider the number of technological advancements we've made in the last 13 years it could be a century! Children born in the year 2000 are now entering the first year of their teens and for them utilising technology on an hourly basis is the norm.

Back then at the turn of the millennium WAP phones that offered limited internet access were being touted as the next big thing, but were used by less than one per cent of us. Today's smartphones are handheld computers that can be used to update Facebook and Twitter, stay in touch using WhatsApp and Instagram and access the internet and play games.

2013 is the year tech-savvy millennial children become teenagers (and therefore legally are able to begin using social media). As a mother of a millennial baby I am experiencing this shift of interests with a child who is now a teenager and permanently attached to his smartphone. My eldest, Nathaniel, has a smartphone and sees it as a vital part of his social life but as a mother I take comfort in knowing that I can contact him at any given time when he is out of the house.

I don't know about you but plans in my household rarely stay fixed, so being able to call or text to explain a time or a pick up change to the kids is vital for me. It can literally take rounds and rounds of calls and texts to negotiate a slightly later pick up time for him at a party so it's fortunate for parent's that there are mobile phone packages that are designed to give families free calls between all of their SIMs and the home phone.

McKenzie doesn't have a mobile yet, he is 11. Apparently that is quite late as the average age for children getting mobile phones is now seven and a half. In my mind I have tried to hold out until secondary school, but really this deadline is a fallacy as I increasingly think I would like him to have one ahead of then. As it stands, I end up contacting him via his friend's mobile phones, so I can see where parents are coming from letting them have them earlier.

I really welcome new technologies which help make the online world a safer place and give parents greater assurance that their children are safe online. It's great to see free technology such as TalkTalk's new MobileSafe app, which helps protect children when using the internet on their phones both inside and outside of the home, whether that is from viruses, theft or harmful content. Norton also offers a security app and AVG has a virus protection app. Obviously these security measures always need to be combined with parents actually educating and talking to their children about the dangers as well as the benefits.

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