The Appropriate Age For Your First Phone

A new survey reveals that Adults agree that 13 is the appropriate age for a first phone

According to a recent UScellular survey1 to uncover usage trends, attitudes and habits of Gen Z and millennial smartphone consumers, the age when kids get their first phone is holding steady.

Both parents and non-parents think, on average, 13 years old is an appropriate age for a child to have their first phone.

From the survey, nearly 9 out of 10 parents reported monitoring their child’s phone usage, with app usage (85%) and time spent on the phone (68%) as the most commonly monitored areas. Consistent with monitoring usage, 74% of parents are likely to speak with their children about their app usage and safe web browsing.

Phones Bring Value To Consumers’ Lives, But Some Have Concerns

  • Over half of consumers say that their phone enhances their life.
    • Many say that they would be unable to take pictures/videos (60%) or stay in touch with friends/family (58%).
    • When asked what they would not be able to do without their phone, 32% said they would not be able to pay for things, 25% couldn’t do work/homework and 19% would not be able to cook or prepare meals.
    • Thirty-one percent expressed concern for their financial information if they lost their phones given their reliance on them for finances.
    • Thirty-two percent of respondents expressed that they could use some time apart from their phones and 28% wish they were less dependent on them.
  • Concern about losing their phone is also quite high
    • Most would rather experience many uncomfortable events before having to lose their phone: Three out of four respondents would rather go to the dentist, 68% would rather go on a terrible date, 65% would rather sit next to a crying baby on an airplane and 57% would rather give up all their holiday gifts.
  • Social media consumes much of each generation’s phone usage
    • Three in four respondents said they spend at least one hour per day on social media, more than any other individual activity.
    • The most common social media app remains Facebook, but this is driven by high usage among older millennials.
    • Gen Z in particular use TikTok and Snapchat more than older generations.