Waking up a couple hours before dawn has some advantages — restful sleep after a late night appearance not being one of them.

But I do get a jump on all the day's news and have time to prepare a thoughtful discussion for our listeners joining me on their commute through the Garden State.  Today I was struck by an article on NJ1015.com about a movement among some parents to deny their kids smart phones until the eighth grade. Ridiculous!

Parents should be embracing the way we communicate today. The idea of lamenting the fact that people don't socialize well anymore because their heads are in their phones is misleading. What do you think they're doing? They're communicating, interacting, responding, laughing, crying, sharing...all with other people! I'd argue that the world has gotten smaller and exponentially more communicative now that we are only a tap away from the entire world through social media.

People need to embrace technology and stay connected. The younger the better. Don't disarm your kids by denying them the basic access to the way the world communicates today. Teach them responsibility when it comes to using the internet, texts and social media. Teach them decision making and responsibility. But don't deny them a phone. We gave my daughter a phone in fifth grade, then her younger brother in fourth. If I had younger kids today, I'd give 'em an iPad when they started talking. I fully expect that if we ever have grand kids they'll be embracing technology starting in the delivery room. And why shouldn't they? We've come a long way and it's making the world a better place.

It's fine if you want to have focused family time and everyone paying attention to each other at the dinner table. But don't down play the incredible opportunity it is to be connected without have to write a letter or even make a call. My next step to keep up with my millennial colleagues? Snapchat.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea.

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