Because things have just changed.
When I was 10 years old, I rode around on my bike every day. There was a huge creek that ran around the Los Angeles area, I went there every day. Broken bottles, kids smoking pot (or meth, who knows), jagged rocks, cliffs, et cetra. I never came home hurt. I managed to find my way home every day. I didn't need a GPS, I didn't need an Iphone.
Now, what I find interesting is that there are a lot of parents now who would *faint* at the sound of an 10-11 year old being unsupervised 10 miles away from home in a creek, on a bike. But, those same parents will insist on their 11 year old having a cell phone? To me, their logic would point to an 11 year old not having any reason for being unsupervised--they would either be at school, home, friends' house with a responsible parent/guardian around, yes? So why do they need a cell phone?
My 8 year old cousin has an Ipod touch. Her parents think that she hasn't figured out how to turn the internet settings back on. Something tells me she can, because she sends me texts on Textfree. I don't think an 8 year old should have internet access in her pocket... to me that's just inappropriate.
Whatever, people will do what they want. Not like I care, it's just that I don't understand it.