Views #1448 | Intermediate (B1)

The Right Age

What is the best age for kids to start doing some things like having a smart phone?

Katie: So I want to ask you about when is the right age to have stuff or to start doing stuff. What do you think is the right age to start having a phone?

Aimee: Oh, I think for security reasons, to, you know, keep the child safe, perhaps maybe about 11 or 12 when they start going around places without their parents.

Katie: Yeah.

Aimee: It would be a way for me to contact my daughter. Even now, my daughter is only six and she doesn't have a phone, and that's far too young, I believe. However, she walks to school by herself and walks home by herself. And that stresses me out for her safety.

So there are times where I wish I could phone her or text her, but she doesn't have a phone. And I do believe that six is far too young to have a phone.

Katie: A little bit too young.

Aimee: Yes. So purely for security reasons, I think probably around 11 or 12.

Katie: How old were you when you first got your phone.

Aimee: Well, I'm an old person so, you know, people didn't have mobile phones. I was reaching the end of high school. I was, I think, 17 when I got my first mobile phone. And it was a big brick. But again, that was for, you know, I guess security reasons.

Katie: Yeah.

Aimee: My parents got it for me. I was going out, you know, I started going out at night, going to concerts. And I was beginning to be allowed going into bars and things at 17, 18. So yeah, it was a good security thing. My parents were appreciative of being able to contact me.

Katie: Yeah.

Aimee: How about you? How old were you when you first got your mobile phone?

Katie: Oh goodness. I was about 12 or 13. I was really young.

Aimee: Okay.

Katie: And I only got my first mobile phone or my first cellphone because my best friend who got the same one and I wanted to send like picture messages to her. It was back in the old days where you can send a photo, you can take photos.

Aimee: Picture messages.

Katie: Picture messages.

Aimee: I couldn't even send picture messages. Mine was just texts, like pressing the same button over and over again.

Katie: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. So I never really used it as like a way of security. I just used it to send really overpriced picture messages to my friend for absolutely no reason. It was such a waste. And to play Snake. Do you remember Snake?

Aimee: Oh yeah, Snake.

Katie: Like the little game that you could play on your phone.

Aimee: Yup, yup.

Katie: Yeah. I didn't use it for a good use, I think. I just used it to waste time.

Aimee: Fair enough. Well, you're 12, you said, right?

Katie: Twelve, thirteen, yeah.

Aimee: That sounds age appropriate, I think, age appropriate use.

Katie: Yeah. It's a good time to start wasting your time.

Aimee: Yeah.

Katie: Get ahead to start wasting time.

Aimee: Yeah.

[End of Transcript]

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

right age

When is the right age to have stuff?

Here, the right age means the best age, or the most appropriate age to do something. Notice the following:

  1. There is no right age to stop learning.
  2. What is the right age to get married?

stress me out

That stresses me out for her safety.

When something stresses you out, it causes you a lot of worry. Notice the following:

  1. Paying taxes stresses me out.
  2. Driving sometimes stresses me out.


So purely for security reasons.

Here, purely is similar in meaning to the words solely, only, or just. Notice the following:

  1. I cook purely for the joy of cooking.
  2. I came here purely to meet you.

for security reasons

We did this for security reasons.

There are many reasons why people do things, such as for security reasons, financial reasons, health reason, or practical reasons. Notice the following:

  1. I bought a gun for security reasons.
  2. I try to cook at home for health reasons.

back in the old days.

It was back in the old days when you could send a photo.

Here, back in the old days refers to a prior time in a persons life. Notice the following:

  1. I was thin at one time back in the old days.
  2. Things were cheaper back in the old days.


I just used it to send really overpriced picture messages.

If something is overpriced, then it costs more than it should. Notice the following:

  1. Most colleges are overpriced.
  2. Food in hotels is always overpriced.

Vocabulary Quiz

Use the words below to complete the sentences.

right • purely • stress
overpriced • security • old days
  1. We have a dog for reasons.
  2. I had long hair back in the .
  3. Moms do things out of love.
  4. This is the time to change jobs.
  5. These drinks are so .
  6. Try not to me out.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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