The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

This House believes that children should be allowed to own and use smart phones.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/17/2014 Category: Technology
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,808 times Debate No: 63444
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)




I am going to post my first ever debate topic. As stated above the motion shall be "This House believes that children should be allowed to own and use smart phones. So here are the formats for the debate.

Round 2: Arguments and proofs that support each side.
( max : 3 points)
Round 3: ONLY Rebuttals against each party
Round 4: Conclusion summarizing each party's arguments and his/her

It is to be mentioned that I'm quite new to this website and do not frequent this forum to debate. I prefer my opponent to be a newbie too :-) ( preferably but not a must).
Also, to make things clear, my opponent should disagree with the motion and only propose ideas that negate the motion. Besides, I would love to see a short, mature and balanced debate, so please don't get overexcited and type too much! In case if I were the one who went over the borderline, do remind me and you are allowed to put forward ideas as much as I did. Plus, I did set the voting period to the max for, as I mentioned above, I do frequent this website much, giving us debaters time, to allow our caprice to take control and our conviction to develop.

And lastly , I can't wait for my opponent to accept the challenge and start with the debate! Enjoy! May the best be ever in your favor!


I myself am a newbie! (2nd time) So, I accept your challenge. *dramatic movie voice

I would consider my self well educated, but definitely not Einstein, so you don't need to worry about me. I hope we will have fun in this debate and good luck! ;)
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting my debate Theodore! This is my second time too! That was quick considering how many yet-to-be-accepted challenges here. Anyways, I can't believe I left this out but I was meant to include Definition in my format that I proposed earlier. Nevertheless, I'll still be taking Definition into account of our battle and am going to incorporate our debate some definitions. However, you can still dispute my proposal and come out with (a) new one(s) in case there are flaws in mine!

Back to our debate, I'd like to begin our debate with the definition of a child. The word child is ambiguous. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the UK government in 1991, states that a child "means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier" (Article 1, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989). Therefore the group of people that should be included in our debate encompasses adolescents and teenagers.

My belief in this matter ( that a child should be owning a smart hone) revolves around the rights of children. Children's rights are defined in numerous ways, including a wide spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, social and political rights. A Canadian organization categorizes children's rights into three categories namely provision, protection and participation. There are many aspects that fall under provision , but the ones that I'd like to highlight are these ; right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of opinion and of expression and right to adequate standard of living.

As stated, children are entitled to the right of freedom of thought, conscience and religion. One way to acquire these qualities especially to flourish one's thinking is through reading. We are what we read! Besides, I believe that in this present time, the easiest and fastest way to gain access to lavish amount of reading materials that enhances the maturity of one's ideas, his philosophies and knowledge is via the Internet. Therefore, if and only if the parents have the financial stability and advantage, it is convenient for their children ( and that includes teenagers ) to own a smart phone for them to discover more about the world and philosophies that great people had to offer. Haven't you notice that more children nowadays speak of great and complicated ideas and issues compared to children of say the 70's and 80's? I believe it is the result of modern day communication technology and globalization that enable the accessibility to an unlimited possibilities. En Toto, smart phones are vital (but not mandatory) for a child's development of critical thinking and ideas.

A smart phone is an amalgamation of many other electronic devices such as a computer, a phone, an MP3, calculator, stopwatch, clock and gaming platform ; just to name a few. That's why, in my opinion rather than having to spend extra for a number of these electronic devices that befit children's social life, why not just give them a single multipurpose gadget? My second point is owning a smart phone can save money. Bear in mind that smart phones aren't just iPhones, Samsung Note 3, 1 Plus and all those fancy expensive brands. Brands like Zen Mobile, Motorola and ZTE do offer budget smart phones at reasonable and affordable prices. Therefore, for economic and financial reasons, children should be allowed to own smart phones, so that they can accommodate to the modern day social life.

Lastly, face it, we are living in a dynamic world where technology is progressing exponentially. The generation of children today isn't the same as the one from decades ago and so there's no point in turning that around. We can't turn back time! Rather than prohibiting children to use smart phones, parents should teach their children to cope with this important technology. My last point is by letting children having their own smart phone, perhaps even explore the mechanics of the gadget, parents are literally nurturing them to grow up to be technology-savvy. I myself as a student of engineering do see the importance in allowing them to own smart phones. Some of my friends did dissemble their electronic devices and even learn a thing or two about computer programming by just spending a lot of their alone time with computers. And honestly now I admit I am at disadvantage and wished I have spent less time with fictional books and more on hand-ons work, so that I would not have been so awkward with technology.


(Disclaimer: I may not necessarily agree with the principle of my arguments, and am not copy/pasting either. These are arguments with information from other sites.) 1. Health and Safety Issues, 2. Distraction from both others and school, and 3. Too much time spent on the phone.
Debate Round No. 2


To con, I just realized ,you didn't go into details about your points, so I can't rebut your arguments. And I don' think I'll do it Round 4, so I'll just express my opinions about the disadvantaged of having a smart phone that Con has presented later on in round 3. I'll also fortify my arguments by providing more solid proofs.

I'm going to begin my round 3 with citations for round 2. Here are the links of website that I referred to;'s_rights

I'd like to continue my debate with proofs that support my claims. As I did mention in round 2, a smartphone is highly beneficial for children in term of their intellectual development. A proof that undergird such statement is that smartphones feature an added dimension of learning. According to PBS Parents Guide to Children & Media, giving a smartphone to a school-aged children will provide them an additional way of learning, apart from traditional books or classroom. It has been known to us that learning process that involves more stimuli will help one to study better as this method will enhance better memory. There are many educational apps that are downloadable on App Store and Play Store such as Brilliant, Duolingo and Amazing Science Fact that utilize multi stimuli as basics for its educational program. Also, they can gain access to philosophy and literature materials in a faster and more convenient way. Therefore I believe this modern way of learning is better than the traditional method, that only depends on black and white sources, which will lead to better intellectual development in children especially students.
For my second claim, let us do mathematics! I mentioned that "A smart phone is an amalgamation of many other electronic devices such as a computer, a phone, an MP3, calculator, stopwatch, clock and gaming platform ". Let's take the price of an iPad and a Samsung Note 10 for instance to compare with the total price of these electronic devices. An iPad costs $399.00 and a Samsung Note 10 worths R06;$359.99. A computer, an MP3, a calculator, a stopwatch, clock, a gaming platform (let that be a gameboy since there are emulators for it) $579.99.+$40+$30+$20+$32.11+...... which sums up to at least $690.00. I should mention that these numbers are just my estimation and there are a lot more devices that I didn't put into account such as e-Book.Now from a rough look and my estimation, you will agree that buying a smartphone is indeed more economical than having to buy all of these electronic devices.
And for my last point, do I need to provide proofs on how important it is to nurture and let your children to explore technology?
"We"re seeing a fundamental change in the way kids consume media," Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, said in an interview with Mashable. "Kids that can"t even talk will walk up to a TV screen and try to swipe it like an iPad or an iPhone."So, by the time they reach elementary school, children are exposed to a myriad of technologies like smart boards and sophisticated computer programs!

Now it's time for my rebuttal. The 3 points that were put forward by my opponent were;
1. Health and Safety Issues,
2. Distraction from both others and school, and
3. Too much time spent on the phone.
Okay, first health and safety issues. You have to link me a LEGIT scientific report or a summary to it regarding health issues caused by using a smartphone. [Please note: not OVERUSING]. So far, the several ( almost a dozen ) websites, that I did spend some time giving them a thorough reading, only mentioned something like this " EATING CANDIES WILL GIVE YOU DIABETES " or " WALKING IS BAD FOR YOU! " Everything is dangerous if you do something excessively! Now, here are the top 5 popular health issues related to having a smartphone claimed by most of these websites;
1. Germs
2. Creativity
3. Disconnect
4. Texting and Driving
5. Job Stress
I am a very sceptical person and I don't think anyone has ever had a fever or caught a cold from a phone. Germs are everywhere and our body is adopted by having antibodies that can fight off typical bad micro-organisms! Secondly I believe technology promotes creativity! With more painting apps and better camera we can capture an a momentarily art that is almost as good as one that is crafted via conventional devices such as a DSLR or a computer! Next, I think it is pretty common sense not to use a phone while driving as it will distract us. And lastly job stress. I can't relate it to owning a smart phone. If you don't want to have an update about your work, just turn off the mobile data!

I would like to stress again that smart phones are relatively harmless if you have a control over yourself and not overuse it.

Second and third, distractions from others and school as well as too much spent on smartphone. The third point sounds like a redundancy. Too much time spend on the phone leads to distractions from school and cause health problems. For some countries, students are not allowed to bring hand phones especially. Even if they do, I believe with complete self control smart phones are VERY USEFUL in classes especially among teen students! Also at home, when it comes to doing home works, it is important not to get children exhausted. Children also need a break from schoolwork.You can let them play with their gizmos by loading it with a multitude of child-friendly games. You can use it as a method of reward if they"ve accomplished their household chores or if they excelled in class.

I think it worths mentioning that , in my opinion even if smart phones can cause health problems, they would be minor and caused by excessive usage. As I mentioned earlier this in turn can be avoided with good time management and self control. So it is important for parents, in fact it is their responsibility for them, to keep a keen eye on their children's usage of smart phone!

I don't see why we should expose children to this technology. Sure, a 12 year old with an iPhone that brags all the time would be labelled as spoiled, but, but when we were kids, didn't our parents spoiled us in a different way? When we were a kid, wasn't there always the fat kid in the class who were annoying just as much, who bragged about his limited edition collection cards or gameboy or something. They are just kids being juvenile and that is normal! Just because their parents can afford buying their children smart phones , that doesn't make them bad at parenting. I believe in a long term, a smart phone should be beneficial for children.

Before I end my round 3, I'd like to stress that there are more advantages in children having a smart phone than the problems that it can cause t them. With more children getting missing everyday all over the world, it is brilliant to keep a GPS in their pockets so that their parents are always aware of where they are and are readily connected in case of emergency. Therefore, with more benefits on my side I believe that the advantages of owning a smart phone outweigh the bad minor side effects it can cause, qualitatively and quantitatively.
Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitude Report
PBS Parents Guide to Children & Media


1. Health an safety issues. A child's (say 5-13) brain absorbs 10x more radiation to the brain than adults. An older 'child' (15-18) may be more immune to radiation, but nevertheless, the 'child' will most likely sleep with the phone next to their heads, allowing 10 + or - hours of radiation streaming into the brain and genitalia, which could cause ADHD, autism, damaged reproduction systems, etc. 2. Distraction. You have already gone against this argument but let me expand. If the child took the phone to school, he would be focused on the phone and the new game he got rather than the teacher. His excuse would be "notes" or "the interactive textbook". And for older children, they would focus on the phones, instead of interacting with others. Most parent won't object to this, in today's culture. Exploring an smart phone not quite exploring technology. The creators of smart phones have made it extremely easy to navigate. Unless they were taking it apart, it's not really exploring technology. I believe there are alternatives to a technological education. One of the safest is a desktop, this also provides the parents with easier ways to make sure the child is doing what heshe is supposed to be doing.
I suggest visiting this page for reasons why children should not have smartphones. It was also one of my sources.
Debate Round No. 3


So we've reached the end of our debate. Clearly there are speculations and concerns issued by many incuding parents, teachers, peadriticians and scientists in regards to our motion. I however still am subscribing to the belief that that the advantages for children to own smart phones outweigh the minor disadvantages that come with it.

To sum up, my three points that have been taken into account of our debate are to promote the intellectual development of children ,parallel to The Children's Right, economic and financial reasons and lastly to assimilate the element of latest technology among children to mould technology-savvy generation.

Now for my opponent, I am well aware of the fragility of children's biology and how they can be obsessed with smart phones. That's why I did mention parents' role in this matter earlier. They should always control the internet and calls usage by their children. Parents should always remind their children of the danger of phones-oriented radiation to them and make sure that at night when they are sleeping their smart phones are placed at a safe distance.
Besides that, if inability to stay focus in class becomes a problem, simple , parents should take away their phones and keep them during school hours return to them after school.

In a nutshell, parents should allow their children to own a smart phone. Bear in mind that everything if used excessively can be dangerous and that applies to this situation. With enough control and support by parents, I believe that children can benefit the best from having this wonderful piece of technology!

That's all from me, thank you for your time! I really appreciate it.

Ps: to con, radiation doesn't "'flow""' in blood vein. It penetrates through your clothes and if powerful enough ( with strong penetrating power) through your skin.


I believe that children should not own smartphones because of the huge amount of radiation constantly 'penetrating' , the word my opponent would prefer me to use, the brain and other fragile body parts, and because most parents do not mind when and what their children use their phones for, and to those parents who do, I comend you.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zarif_Zai94 2 years ago
Theodore: i dont mind it. As long as we caa convey our ideas, thats good enough.

Anyway, im still not convinced and skeptical that a child can get adhd from weak ionizing and penetrating radiation. I could rebut but i purposely didnt. Our skin is built to counter common radiation, as such can be emitted by man-made objects and that include your tv and even the clothes youre wearing right now. So, i hoped that u did refer to a good science research and not some random website.

I had a good time and sorry for posting my final round late. Ive been too busy. Hope we can debate again someday
Posted by TheodoretheMan 2 years ago
Zarif, I want to once again apologize for not expanding on the points I made. It is my fault I didn't read the description you made, but I assumed that you gave 3 points, then the next round you expanded, then you rebuttled. I will expand on my points in round 3.
Posted by Zarif_Zai94 2 years ago
So much for a quick and short debate =_=.. your turn CON.

Eav: Thank you for your advices!!!!!!! I totally need it :-) for my future debates here.. what's done is done... plus people have different styles but that doesn't mean there's only one correct way of doing it.. And yeah, I get your analogy about programming.. I hate that subject though =_=.. urghhhhh For round 4 i think i did write up to the standard number of characters.
Posted by Eav 2 years ago
Since I've been hanging around here, I figured: debating is like programming; learning by doing and learning by reading good debaters'/programmers' debates/code.
Posted by Eav 2 years ago
Ok, please guys, don't take it personal but here are a few suggestions:

1: If you want the debate short in terms of time and characters you can set up the debate with
- limited characters (8,000 is standard - a short debate would be around 3,000)
- limited time (such as a 24 hour frame to post arguments)
- limited rounds (but don't do only one, because you can't show rebuttal skills that way)

2: Obviously you can't change a debate once it has been accepted;
so any limitations of characters or time afterwards are not valid, meaning that the opponent does not have to give his consent.

3: Sources are included in the round in which the argument they refer to, is posted
- because that's how the opponent can criticize the quality of your argument based on the validity of your source (it's a debating method in which you proof someone wrong because his/her source is either not supporting the claim or not reliable leading to a irrelevant or at least weak argument)

So the structure for a round traditionally would be
[argument 1 = claim 1] [explanation][proof via quote or paraphrasing a source][In-Text-Reference = Source Number]
[argument 2 = claim 2] ...
[List of reference links structured via source number]

4: The Voting can be either be
The 7-Point-System that always (not changeable) considers
- Who you agreed with before (0 points)
- Who you agreed with after (0 points)
- Conduct (1 point)
- Grammar and Spelling (1 point)
- Argument quality (3 points)
- Reliability (and Use) of Sources (2 points)

OR ALTERNATIVELY you can choose the Select-Winner-Voting
which means that the voters pick the winner by their own criteria and he/she gets the full 7 points awarded. Should always be combined with a compulsory vote-comment to make sure the people actually read the debate.
Posted by TheodoretheMan 2 years ago
I will try to do that many characters... I don't know if I have that much information, but just remember that those short 3 points were done like that on purpose, and I was later going to expand. Sorry once again! P.s. It's your turn.
Posted by Zarif_Zai94 2 years ago
the reason i limited the arguments down to max 3 points is because i want the debate to be as quick and short yet informative as possible.. the first debate that i joined here was too long and took about 4 days (but i loved it since the topic was fun).. but in this case it seems like i wrote too much but Con less than expected. I though didnt set a limit to number of characters in each round..

CON: for round 3 can you type your arguments around 5000 characters (considering ive added changes to the format of our debate) ??

Regarding the point system; i think we are following the 7 Points system.. thats how people vote here and the instigator cant change it..
Posted by TheodoretheMan 2 years ago
I have my sub proofs and all that, but I learned to do main proofs then sub proofs... Sorry!!
Posted by Zarif_Zai94 2 years ago
Oh yeah.. I remember people including citation in their debate.. my bad.. sorry people, l ll learn from my mistakes..
Theodore the man.. some slight alteration (im x even sure if we can even do this here..);
Round 3:
Posted by TheodoretheMan 2 years ago
Oh no!!! I forgot my proofs! I thought we did our proofs in the 3rd round!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by aburk903 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's sources are diverse and support multiple points with direct evidence. Con seems to fundamentally misunderstand how radiation works, which Pro points out to sufficiently negate Con's main contention. Con concludes without every empirically justifying his claims and making a statement about parenting that is neither here nor there with a universal policy for children's technology use.