When I grew up, my parents didn't have half of the decisions parents do today. There was no Internet, no computers, no cell phones, no GameBoys and DS's, and not any consoles for video games either. Life was a lot more simple then and kids even played outdoors!
Today's parents are faced with many decisions of how their kids should be spending their time and what gadgets they should be allowed to have. Of course the biggest dilemma is probably whether to get kids a game console and if so, at what age should they get one? All kids want Wii's and XBoxes which forces parents into a defensive position very early on.
The problem with many of these gadgets is that kids get addicted to them and don't want to do other things. Rather than play kickball outside like I did when I was younger, all kids want to do now days is stay indoors and play video games. It is quite sad really, all the outdoor activities these kids are missing.
Cell phones for kids brings up another important decision parents must make quite early on. Kids love cell phones not because they can call their parents but because they can fool around with them, play games on them, listen to music, and talk to their friends. Kids don't really want cell phones to use as the communication device they were originally intended as, but to occupy more of their time.
There is the big question of when kids should be given their first cell phone. Some parents feel a cell phone is just another thing a child doesn't need that will help divert them from their studies. They feel their kids need to stay kids and they don't want them talking on the phone all the time.
Other parents see the cell phone as a safety device that will help track their child (some kids phones have GPS) and give them a way to call 911 or their parents if they need to. For these parents, giving a younger child a cell phone goes hand in hand with keeping them safe.
Of course there is no "right" answer to this question of what age is the appropriate age for a child to have a cell phone and each parent should make their own decision. One thing is for sure though, every year it seems kids want things at an earlier and earlier age. Whether is it cell phones, computers, computer games, iPods, or game consoles, children in today's world want those things at incredibly young ages. Times have really changed.