With all of the negative headlines surrounding the use of smartphones and social media, it’s hardly surprising that many parents consider getting their children a simple flip phone to help protect them from the potential dangers involved with smartphone use. But is that actually safer or can flip phones be tracked by parents?
While the idea of getting a child a flip phone to protect your child is understandable, it can be argued that it’s actually less safe than getting them an Android smartphone with the parental control app MMGuardian for a number of reasons.
Do Flip Phones Have GPS?
While most flip phones don’t come with GPS capabilities, models by Samsung, LG, and Alcatel exist that have basic GPS capabilities which means flip phones have GPS. If the flip phone has no GPS capabilities, it means as a parent, you cannot get updates on where your child is whenever you want like you could if they had a smartphone.
With a smartphone that has MMGuardian installed, you can get their location on command at any point and even set schedules for when you would like for the phone to be automatically tracked (for example, when your child is heading to and from school).
Do Flip Phones Monitor Messages?
Even if predators can’t access a child through social media, they could still potentially get your child’s phone number. If your child has a flip phone, there’s no way for you to be completely sure about who your child is texting. Even if you physically checked their phone, they could still be deleting messages. Not to mention, you also can’t be sure what your child is texting about. Parents need to know if their child or someone they’re talking to is having suicidal thoughts so that the child in question can get help as quickly as possible.
If your child has a smartphone with MMGuardian on the other hand, you can view all of their SMS text messages (along with some messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp) and who they are messaging, and you can even get alerts if any concerning subjects such as suicide, bullying, drugs, etc. are detected so that you don’t have to constantly read every message. Even if your child deletes messages, you’ll still be able to get an alert if the SMS text contains suspicious keywords. MMGuardian is also capable of alerting you if potentially inappropriate pictures are detected in your child’s messages or saved on the phone. If your child is using a flip phone, they could be sending and receiving nude pictures, and you would never know as it’s difficult to track message content and senders/recipients.
Do Flip Phones Block Contacts?
Not all flip phones come with the option to block numbers, and even if they do, you can only block specific numbers. This makes the flip phone user an easy target for harassment.
MMGuardian allows you to completely control who contacts your child. You can either block specific numbers or you can provide a specific list of numbers which your child is allowed to communicate with and block all other numbers automatically.
Do Flip Phones Have a Time Limit Function?
While flip phones may not have social media apps that your child can get lost into for hours, they still have access to simple games, can send out texts and access the internet. This means your child can spend unlimited time on the phone, even during school hours when they should be studying. With a flip phone, it becomes difficult for parents to track their child’s phone usage so that they can create healthy boundaries.
MMGuardian gives you the ability to set time limit schedules for different times and even days, for example, earlier lock times in the evenings on school days and later lock times on the weekends. Parents sometimes worry about the addictive nature of phones, and installing time limits helps teach responsible usage and keeps children engaged in other activities of their life.
Flip Phones Still Has Access to the Internet
Flip phones may be considered basic old-school phones, but they still have limited GPS and internet access. While the internet browser in a flip phone may not be as good as the one in modern smartphones, your child can gain access to social media platforms and watch YouTube videos. So while it can be difficult and tedious for your child to access unwanted websites and videos on a flip phone, they can do it.
As a parent, you cannot know what your child is viewing on a flip phone. However, with the MMGuardian app installed on a smartphone, you can block websites individually or based on categories and monitor your child’s browsing history. Furthermore, you get AI-powered alerts concerning topics detected in the internet browsing or social media, such as contact with predators, cyberbullying, suicidal thoughts, inappropriate pictures, and much more.
No Way To Prevent Its Use
Even if they can’t have apps installed on them, flip phones can still have games and other ways that children are more than happy to be distracted by when they should be focusing on important things like homework or sleeping. There is no way to lock the phone down without physically taking it away which no parent wants to have to do every night.
With MMGuardian, not only can you lock the phone instantly or according to schedules, you can also block any apps that you don’t want your child to be using. Many parents worry about their children using social media if they receive smartphones, but with MMGuardian, you can set all newly downloaded apps to be automatically blocked so that your child can’t use any apps without your approval. You can also set daily limits for app use and block schedules.
Some of The Advantages That Flip Phones Have Over Smartphones / Other Phones.
- They are cheap and affordable compared to most smartphones. They can be bought for as low as $30.
- Longer battery life as a flip phone battery can last up to a week, so you don’t have to worry about constantly charging the phone. The reason is that flip phones need little power to run as they have few apps and are mainly used for texting and calling.
- Almost impossible to break as flip phones are built to be durable and light, so they don’t get much damage even when they are dropped. In addition, they last for years and cost marginally less to fix them.
- Not exciting to spend time on it as flip phones are basic and are primarily used for phone calls and simple texting. Some flip phones have an internet browser, but it is so tedious to use that it doesn’t hold much attention for the user.
- Less texting/video/photo messaging as a flip phone means no games, group messages, emails, social media apps and pop-up adverts to distract the user.
As you can see, flip phones have compelling advantages that have prompted many parents to buy them for their children. However, while flip phones do help offer the safe functionality of phone calls and texts minus the dangers of the internet, it doesn’t help keep your child safer. As a parent, if you’re unable to track and access your child’s location, phone usage time, messages, contact list, and access to the internet through a flip phone, it makes it difficult to protect and supervise your child.
If you use MMGuardian, you can get your child a smartphone and have peace of mind knowing that your child is being protected.
To get started with MMGuardian and receive a 14-day free trial, click here.
Consider also joining our Facebook group “Tech-Savvy Parenting” to discuss raising kids in the 21st century with other parents.