Should I get my kid a smartphone? What you are really asking is: Does your child possess the self restraint, impulse control and willpower to turn it off? Can they ignore the noise and let it wait till the appropriate time or otherwise resist responding to the constant stimulus from it? Or will they be like Pavlov's dog, subconsciously responding to the phone every time it dings. There are dozens of articles, many of them good, but few address the question at its core. Is my kid mature enough to process that level of stimuli without becoming debilitated by it? Is my child ready to have a device in their pocket 24-7 that has access to every part yphone kids of the internet, social media, files, interactions, apps and whatnot?
The short answer is NO, most people under the age of 23 don't possess the impulse control or self restraint to not jump to the phones every time it makes a noise. There are many studies that point to the fact that the fast moving pixels, the instant response from the friends, the likes on that Instagram photo or what ever, all provide an instant shot of gratification, a dopamine burst that provides a neural response similar to a small hit of an opium or a kiss or driving to fast. This little rush reinforces their need to respond to the device. It rewards them for jumping to its whim and makes them feel bad when they don't.