Phones Without Social Media: Is the New Trend Saving Kids?
NOV 02, 2023
Phones Without Social Media: Is the New Trend Saving Kids?
What’s causing this trend?
Prior to Gabb devices, the only cell phones without access to social media were flip phones (yes, the phones from the ‘90s with T9 texting in all its glory).
And when you pit a smartphone against a flip phone, there is no question that your child will want — and quite possibly beg — for anything, but a flip phone.
Thankfully, parents no longer have to settle for getting their kids a smartphone or a flip phone; now, there’s Gabb.
Ways That Social Media Can Be Harmful For Kids
Social media can provide a platform for positive interaction and communication, but it can also harm children in many ways.
A Platform for Potential Cyberbullying
One of the most significant dangers of social media usage among children is cyberbullying. Through social media platforms, kids can be subjected to relentless harassment and intimidation.
Compared to traditional bullying, the effects of cyberbullying can be even more damaging due to the broader audience, anonymity, and inability to escape digital harassment. Cyberbullying can lead to long-lasting psychological and emotional trauma and can cause severe emotional distress.
If you feel your child is ready for social media, it is still a good idea for parents and guardians to monitor kids’ social media activity. It’s important to remember that every person has the right to feel safe and respected physically and online.
Negative Body Image
As social media consumption among kids continues to rise, the question of its potential impact on mental health becomes even more prevalent.
One of the most concerning aspects is the possible connection between social media and negative body image. Self-esteem issues can arise as many users feel pressured to present a perfect idea of themselves to the outside world.
Unrealistic beauty standards can challenge a young child’s perception of self-worth. Multiple studies have shown a link between social media use and negative body image, which can lead to psychological problems such as low self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders.
One of the best ways to protect your kids against this is to have meaningful conversations with them about the impact of social media on self-image and teach them the importance of self-love and self-acceptance.
The main goal of social media founders and developers is to ensure that people spend as much time on their websites as possible. So, it’s no surprise that these sites are intentionally designed to be addictive.
Research has shown that the constant scrolling, notifications, and likes on social media platforms can trigger the same pleasure centers in the brain as drugs and gambling. For kids who are still developing self-control and emotional regulation, these addictive patterns could have serious consequences.
Social media companies know how to keep kids hooked and engaged with their platforms through eye-catching interfaces, notifications, and interactive features. As parents and educators, we can monitor our children’s social media activity when they are ready for it, and set healthy boundaries to prevent addiction and protect their well-being.
Why Gabb Devices Are the Best Phones Without Social Media
Gabb Devices Are Safer Than Smartphones
Social media is not the only reason why smartphones are not safe for kids, and parents know that.
In a recent study, Pew Research Center found that:
- 71% of parents are worried their child will spend too much time in front of screens;
- 63% are afraid their child will be a target of online predators;
- Roughly 60% of parents fear their child will be exposed to sexually explicit and/or violent content online;
- And 56% of parents were concerned their child will be cyberbullied or harassed online.
These problems stem from three main culprits: (1) internet, (2) social media, and (3) unsafe apps.
That’s why every Gabb device comes standard without these unsafe features.
Gabb Devices Are Smarter Than Flip Phones
Just because Gabb devices don’t have internet browsers or allow for download of social media apps doesn’t mean that they aren’t smart. There are many smart features that come with each device:
Gabb Watch triples as a phone, GPS tracker, and interactive smartwatch. Some of the standard features of the watch include GPS tracking, unlimited talk and text, customizable safe zones, custom contacts (up to 100), an SOS button, focus and silent mode scheduling, parent-managed tasks, a step counter, and Gabb Go (an interactive app that rewards kids for being active and productive).
Gabb Phone is a smartphone for kids with GPS tracking, unlimited talk and text, customizable safe zones, a 5 megapixel front camera and 8 megapixel rear camera, optional picture messaging, Gabb Guard (advanced spam call and text blocking), and Gabb Music* (the largest clean music library in the world for kids and teens).
*monthly subscription required.
Gabb Phone 3 Pro
Gabb Phone 3 Pro is the safe phone for kids and teens. It comes with safe Gabb apps, like Gabb Messenger and Gabb Music, plus the ability for parents to add Gabb-reviewed, third-party apps that kids and teens need. Through the parent account, parents can add these additional apps to the phone that are helpful or necessary at certain stages of a child’s life.
While we take great care in creating a safe environment for children of all ages—and carefully hand-pick the apps we allow on our devices—each 3rd-party app on Gabb Phone 3 Pro comes with its own functionality and inherent risks. Our Gabb App Guide can help parents stay informed on the abilities and potential risks of these apps—such as user-generated content, embedded web browsers, and data privacy.
The Gabb Difference
There’s no need to search for the best cell phones that are not smartphones when Gabb exists. Gabb phones are smartphones, without the dangers that often come to mind when we picture adult-centric smartphones.
The difference between Gabb devices and other devices on the market is that every other tech company designs their products for adults, with kids as an afterthought.
The result? Kids spend too much time on screens, they are groomed by online predators, they are exposed to inappropriate content, they are cyberbullied, the list goes on and on.
Gabb is different.
Every product we create is built specifically for kids and teens to keep them safely connected to friends and family, and provide features that help them be independent and productive.
We encourage parents to take a thoughtful approach by considering their child’s individual maturity level when deciding which device is best for them. There is no one-size-fits-all, as each family and child is unique. You know your child’s needs better than anyone else, and Gabb is here to support and help you along the way.
Does your child have social media? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!
The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Teens and Tweens, p. 5