So you’ve got your first phone – advice from teens who’ve been there

14 September 2020

In my research, I like to consult the experts. And often the experts are those who have been there and done that. Parents, none of us know what it’s like to be 11 or 12 and get our own phone. Even having a phone in your room was only something we saw on American sitcoms!

So I asked some older teens for their advice. What would they say to a tween and younger teen getting their first phone? I loved their answers and would love you to share them with your young phone user!


  • Don’t spend your whole life on your phone as it disconnects you from what really matters
  • Don’t get distracted from your work, friends and family.
  • If you are out with your friends, don’t go on your phone the whole time. You are out to be with friends not be on your phone, you can easily do that at home.
  • Don’t let it consume your life.
  • Don’t let it get in the way of your school work.


  • Don’t say/post anything you wouldn’t say in person.
  • Post things that you wouldn’t mind your parents/teachers/grandparents etc seeing
  • Don’t post anything that you’ll regret later on, because once you’ve posted something it can’t ever completely go away.
  • It’s a big responsibility: not to drop it or forget it somewhere and put it on ringer when you are out so your parents can get hold of you! 
  • Take a breath and say “Do I want my parents, principal, teachers, older pupils or younger pupils, to see any of these? Are they appropriate? Are against my beliefs? Would I like my church to see it? Is it against my parent’s/school’s rules?” The same thing applies when you’re taking the actual photo.
  • If you are not sure whether to post something or not, you probably shouldn’t.
  • Don’t post or send anything you wouldn’t want your future boss to see.
  • Make sure your accounts are private.
  • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t say face to face.
  • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your gran to see.
  • Don’t post anything inappropriate. Remember it is saved forever.


  • Be the same person online as you are in real life.
  • Know the difference between real life and life online.
  • Know that likes and followers aren’t important and that real relationships mean more.
  • Don’t date guys you have never met in real life
  • You do not need to get 100 followers in your first few months of having social media and your followers also don’t need to see everything single detail happening in your life. 
  • Only let people you know follow you.
  • Make sure you have nothing to hide on your phone in case someone else picks it up.


  1. Block people or leave groups if they make you feel uncomfortable.
  2. Don’t post anything that makes other people feel left out.
  3. The answers to these questions will help you. 


When you are out with friends, message your mom to tell her that you’re safe, put your phone on ringer so she can get hold of you if she needs to, and put your phone away.

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