Top 5 tech gifts for teenagers

Here’s what your teens really want this holiday, and why it’s OK to buy it for them
Ninety-five percent of teenagers are online, says the Pew Research Center—so it’s no wonder that the digital world is dominated by selfies, emojis, and txt-speak. Nor is it shocking that electronics are at the top of teen wish lists this year. But should you be concerned with how connected they are with every new device you purchase?

At Christmas time parents don’t want to think about the boundaries and the rules of a new device,” Deborah Gilboa, M.D., a parenting expert and founder of AskDoctorG.com, said. “They just want their kids to have fun. But like any tool, it can cause problems.” And problems such as slacking on homework, engaging in online bullying activities, or communicating with strangers are some of parents’ greatest fears.

Josh Shipp, a teen-behavior expert and founder of JoshShipp.com, provides a simple solution to squashing a parent’s anxiety. “The answer is for parents to embrace technology,” he said. “Use the gift of technology as a teaching opportunity to mature and increase self-discipline.” And teaching starts with learning which gadgets are best for your teen so they can become “positive change makers,” as Gilboa puts it.

To help you decide which electronics are appropriate for your household, Consumer Reports used research from the Consumer Electronics Association to let you know the top tech gifts teens are asking for this year.