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We asked you: how do you teach your kids about data usage?

How to teach kids about data usage

At Ting, we believe that for many people unlimited data plans don’t make sense. There is absolutely no reason that you should be paying for data that you’re not using. 

That’s why we charge our customers based on their usage. If you use less data one month, then your bill will be lower. It’s that simple! 

This does mean, however, that if you want to keep your bill nice and low then you need to be a bit more conscious of how you and your family are using data. If you have children, you’re sure to know that getting them to understand data usage can be a bit tricky.

That’s why we reached out to the Ting community of Facebook and Twitter and asked them how they teach their kids about data usage, and we’re here to pass those tips onto you. 

We strongly recommend that you get a firm understanding of data yourself, before teaching others about what it is and how to use it.

Three children playing on devices while sitting on a sofa together.
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Set limits

The most common response we saw from parents was to treat data like a cash allowance. Simply pick an amount of MB that your kids are allowed to use for the month, and don’t let them go beyond this.

For example, Jack T (who happens to be one of Ting’s longest-standing customers) started his kids off with no data, then increased this to 500MB/month and eventually upped it to 900MB/month. 

Giving children power over their own data, within limits, is a great way to teach them about best usage practices. As Jessica B put it, when they run out, they have to deal without it and this will teach them not to use it so fast the next month. 

With Ting, it’s easy to limit your children’s usage by setting alerts and caps. These will either let you know once a line on your account has reached a preset limit or cut it off completely, depending on the function you have set up. 

Teach them how to get the most out of Wi-Fi

Many parents in the Ting community, like Richard N and Emily C, said that they don’t allow their kids data at all, and instead only grant them Wi-Fi access.

Although it seems somewhat counterintuitive, teaching your kids to get the most out of Wi-Fi is a great way to teach them about data usage. Once they see all the tips and tricks for using Wi-Fi effectively, they’ll get an understanding of how little you actually NEED to use cellular data. 

If you’re searching for a resource that will show you and your kids how to cut your data usage then our eBook is a great place to start! 

A couple sat on the floor with their daughter as she plays on a phone.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Get them to pay for it

We also saw several users suggesting that the best way for kids to learn how to use data responsibly was to have them pay for it. This doesn’t have to be for their entire usage, but perhaps once they go above an agreed-upon threshold.

Susan B, for example, says that since her son is a teenager, he pays for any bump up in data usage. Since the Ting Dashboard shows you who’s been using what, in terms of minutes, messages and megabytes, it’s easy to see who the jump in usage can be attributed to.

If your child is paying for the extra data that they are using, then we’re pretty sure it won’t be long before you notice a dip in the amount of MB that they are using. 

Let us know your tips! 

Everyone’s kids are different, and there’s definitely no one perfects method for teaching them about how to use data responsibly. In fact, as Ted M pointed out, kids these days are so technologically proficient that there’s probably a thing or two that they could teach you about using data! 

That said, we’d love to know how YOU teach your kids about their data usage. Let us know in the comments below.