Make smartphones the exception for our children, not the rule.
Bedford Promise is a movement modeled after the Concord Promise to urge parents to delay for their children unrestricted, at-your-fingertips access to the internet and social media via mobile smart devices, for as long as possible with an ideal of waiting at least until 8th grade. We are a support platform for parents who decide to delay and parents who are seeking information. We are committed to providing educational events for our entire community. We are partnering with healthcare professionals, technology leaders and educators.
Our objective is to reduce, if not eliminate, the social pressure to have a smart phone by making having a smartphone the exception, not the rule. More often than not, parents of elementary and middle school aged children purchased their child’s smartphone to ensure their child would not be excluded from social conversations and events.
Viable alternatives to smartphones already exist in the market. These alternatives allow children to communicate with their families and friends, and have phone and text features comparable to smartphones, but without the social media apps that are not permitted for use by children under 13 and without unrestricted internet access. For a list of Bedford Promise recommended alternatives to smartphones, along with their list of features, please visit our Resources page.
Bedford Promise is taking action to address these growing concerns. Our goal is to give our children a childhood that is free of digital distraction, manipulation and exploitation; to teach children to put their devices down and pick their heads-up; to encourage them to look around at the world right here, right now; to bring the focus back to face-to-face human interaction; to empower them to control technology instead of technology controlling them.
Of course, we respect the decisions of parents in our community to do what is best for their family. There are certainly cases where smartphones are appropriate. We will never judge parents who choose to purchase smartphones for their children.