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

Should all children have a phones?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/6/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,202 times Debate No: 60078
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)




Hi, I am a new debater on this website, this is my 4th debate. I am looking for a new debater to debate against so its a far debate. I have chosen the for side today because I want to challenge myself. I will now present my opening statement.

I believe that children should carry phones for their safety and for the safety of others.

If a child gets kidnapped, and thrown into the trunk of a car, they need to call the police, they can use their phone. If they don"t have phones, the kidnapper could easily get away, because there is no one calling for help.

Now, the safety of others is very important too. If I were to be in the park and I was a young man, (10-13) and I saw some people doing some illegal doings, I would need to call the police. But If I did not have a phone, the most I could do, is go home and tell my parents. Then they will call the police. Or may even leave it alone.


I accept. I think I have something unique to favor this debate. I have never owned a cellphone. So I have some insight into dealing with issues related to interacting in the world without a cellphone. Good Luck. I am also a new debater.

Debate Round No. 1


Hi, thank you for accepting my debate.

I think children should have phones because it teaches them responsibility. Responsibility is very important for later in life when they need to find a job. They are also good for parents to teach their child responsibility.

For parents, a phone is good if they want to get the child a dog, but don"t know if their child has the responsibility to take care of one. Dogs are a big responsibility just like phones are.


Before getting into the actual statement made by pro, I want to make sure that everyone is clear on the proposal: should all children have phones? This is significant to the debate because according to the Oxford English Dictionary a child is defined as “A young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority.”[1] This definition is also confirmed elsewhere.[2] From the outset let me state, I do not agree with the proposition for children aged (10-13) but am even more adamantly against giving children that are one month old, two years old, or three years old. These children cannot even eat on their own, or can be left alone, and need the constant attention of an adult to fulfill basic functions. Pro states in the introductory round states that that a “young man (10-13),” meaning ten to thirteen years old. Con wanted to clarify the debate before considering other arguments.

So far, Pro argument rest on two basic ideas: children should have cellphones (1) because it increases the child’s safety and may prevent other crimes via observation (2) because it teaches responsibility. The notion children or kids in the age group mentioned by Pro could help assist police in spotting crime is an argument I will address if presented with an actual study or actual reports written by law enforcement agencies confirming this claim. But given the BOP rests solely with Pro, I will wait until presented with the evidence.

Con Argument: cellphone open the door to exposure to more problems not less:

(1) Sexual Predators

Giving all children increases the likelihood they will have contact with sexual predators. Let me explain:

  • Predators can create fake profiles to lure victims to meet
  • Many cellphone apps allow or connect people that are close by your location
  • This creates opportunities to meet “new friends”
  • Young teens can be tricked into send pictures or other sexual communication[3]

Such crimes are actually increases because of the use and ubiquity of cellphones. In some cases this leads to consequences that last a lifetime (i.e. rape, abuse, abduction, and later use of sexual images for the purpose of extortion).

(2) Cyberbullying (statics from an ABC News report)[4]

  • 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online. One in four have had it happen more than once.

  • 35 percent of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five have had it happen more than once.
  • 21 percent of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
  • 58 percent of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of 10 say it has happened more than once.
  • 58 percent have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

Cyberbullying as these statistics highlight very well is a real problem. Legislators are just now figuring out how to construct laws to prevent its occurrence. By giving ALL CHILDREN cellphones, the likelihood they are to experience some form of cyberbullying. In addition, cyberbullying in some instances led to teens and young adults committing suicide because they were unable to handle the attacks from their peers and adults.

(3) Cognitive problems related to texting (from PBS written by psychologists):

  • Sleep deprivation: “Medical research increasingly underscores the need for adolescents to get sleep – in fact 9 hours compared with adult’s 8 hours. Teen sleep deprivation has been associated with memory deficits, impaired performance and alertness. The loss of REM or intense sleep can result in increased irritability, anxiety and depression, as well as reduced concentration and creativity.”[5]
  • Mental health from “Texting Trap:” Neuro-imaging has shown that back and forth texting floods the pleasure centers of the brain, the same area that lights up when using heroin. The emotional disruption of a real or perceived negative response, however, necessitates more texting to repair the mood, to fix the feelings of rejection, blame and disconnection. The addictive potential is obvious.
  • Dr. Philips summary: Texting as an addiction jeopardizes sleep, cognitive functioning and real relating- making dependence on it greater and greater.

In aggregate, this evidence provides insight why it is not responsible on the part of the parent and why it is responsible in general to believe: “all children should have a phone.”

Pro points out in round one as well as round two his goal is about safety and responsibility. There are a number of ways to achieve those goals. If we wanted to increase safety in a dramatic way, everyone could install cameras in their house and have them linked to a police department in the event of an emergency. While it would likely deter a lot of crime, the bigger problem would be the consequences that result from that action. Responsibility is another outcome Pro wants to see. But again, you could do this in a number of ways. So far, there are a number of reason children should not be given cellphones. I hope voters will take the reasons given so far into consideration.

[1] “Child” Oxford University Press:

[2] “Child” The Free Dictionary:

[3] Risa Ferman. “What Are Your Kids Really Doing on Their Cell Phones and How Can You Keep Them Safe?” The Huffington Post:


[5] Suzanne Philips. “Teens Sleeping with Cell Phones: A Clear and Present Danger.” PBS This Emotional Life Blog:

Debate Round No. 2


:( I quit.


Okay, Pro has decided to quit the debate. Please vote CON!

Debate Round No. 3


good debate, you are really good.


Thank you. I appreciate it. I have only started to get the hang of DDO. Good luck in the future.

Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Preston 7 years ago
dang only new debators
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: PRO quit
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 7 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: A concession from Pro. Welcome to the site, both of you! In the future, Pro, do try to be careful with your resolution lest you fall into the sort of trap that happened here (incidentally, there was still a rebuttal you could have made to the semantic case, as "all children" would still have a cell phone, even if they only got it at age 10 or whatever...but it's always hard to combat semantics). As always, happy to clarify this RFD.

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