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Should I Buy an Apple Watch for My Child?

technology and tech devices Feb 03, 2018

I didn't stand in line to buy my Apple watch, but I admit that I ordered it online on the very first day.  Almost 6 weeks later, I pulled it out of the gorgeous Apple box and I sighed with pleasure. The watch was fabulous looking.

But being an eSafety expert is serious business, so I shook off the giddy feelings and got to work with my burning question: Is the Apple watch safe for kids?

First technology is a tool. It can work for good and unfortunately it can be used for bad. Think of a kitchen knife or a pair of scissors.  Good things to cut with, but dangerous in the wrong hands or with the wrong intent.  Same thing for technology.

So let's take a peek at the Apple watch. It's definitely a tool. It's a watch for goodness sake. A very, ultra, über, super cool watch, but it's a watch.  Beyond all the cool things that it can do (visit your local Apple dealer as I won't go into those details here), let's look at how the Apple watch can be used in the wrong hands or with the wrong intent.

Bullying: The Apple watch let's your child receive emails, text messages, and Skype, among others. So if your child is being sent messages by a bully over these vehicles, then the Apple watch will facilitate that.

Sexting: Ditto for sex related messages sent by email, SMS or Skype.
Problematic Use or Addiction: If your child already has issues with following screen limits, the 'on your wrist' connectivity could cause more serious issues.

Screen Control: As a parent, this will be one more screen to control and set limits on. And I assure you taking away the watch will be a bit more difficult than removing an iPad.

Others have weighed in on the what parents should know about the Apple watch and you can pick and choose here:

Time magazine: 7 Things Parents Need to Know About the Apple Watch

NY Times: Is Your Child Your Excuse to Buy an Apple Watch?

Time magazine: Parents, Unite! No Apple Watch for Kids

CNET: "I don't see YouTube! It's worthless

Let me know what you think? Did you or are you going to buy an Apple Watch for your child?

My own (very young) children think that my Apple Watch is very cool and I can see them eyeballing it all the time, but in my eSafety opinion if they think that they will get an Apple Watch any time soon - they have another think coming.

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