My 6 year old saved her money for 7 months to buy an iPod touch. It is wonderful because she needs no other tech toy (and I still don't think I would have purchased it). She uses it for games, music and using FaceTime and iMessage with daddy while he's overseas, her half brothers and our relatives. Yes, she texts. I think it is a great (monitored) way for her to communicate with those she loves.
The other stuff sounds insane--8 year olds dating???? No way!
Many things to many people.