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Mom, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry never said anything about that...

Updated on October 15, 2015

Use your cell phone for research

If you are under 18 chances are you don't remember a time without cell phones. I am not going to take this opportunity to pull one of those "When I was your age" lectures. Yes, believe it or not there was a time when cell phones didn't exist. But, we don't really live in that world anymore so I'm not even going to go there. That little handheld miracle that you spend most of your time with was invented by Martin Cooper who came up with the idea for a handheld mobile phone in 1973. With the help of John Francis Mitchell, Motorola's Chief of Portable Communication Products the first handheld mobile phone was developed and then sold in 1984. The starting price was around $4000.00 and it weighed two pounds!

There are so many things that you can do with your cell phones that you are just not doing! If you are like my teenagers, you are doing some gaming, watching videos and movies and riding the social media train every free minute of every day. Spend some time exploring some information with that little handheld miracle of yours. Some suggestions are: Learning a foreign language, looking at travel websites for places you may want to visit someday, look up recipes, crafts or how to make a website. Spend some time learning about extraordinary people. Or maybe places you would like to visit, events that you wonder about or even the weather. Do some research about things that impact your life. If you play sports, look up healthy tips for improving your performance etc. Put Siri to work!

Be Innovative


  1. (of a product, idea, etc.) featuring new methods; advanced and original."innovative designs"
  • (of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.

Dream up whatever your heart desires. Don't be afraid to have new ideas or to share them. Sure, not everyone will always agree with new ideas. Believe in yourself anyway. Buy a notebook or use a phone, computer etc. to jot down new ideas as you think of them. I can't count the number of great ideas that I have thought of only to have them disappear because I never wrote them down.

Organize and Plan

Everyone experiences some feelings of stress and anxiety. Whether you're running late, or forgot to complete a homework assignment--life throws you curve balls. As a teenager you are still learning to balance school, family, responsibilities and social activities. Compound all of this with a couple of surprises and failure to plan ahead and feelings of stress and anxiety can come knocking at your door pretty fast. Keeping your space organized can help you to feel more in control. Also, planning ahead can make you feel accomplished as things are completed and help you to relax knowing that things are getting done.



According to Psychology Today, "Adolescents need around 9 hours of sleep a night." It's important for you to schedule sleep time, and stick to it. This does not include the time you spend under your covers checking out your tablet or phone before you finally drift off to sleep. The key is to do whatever works for you to help you get enough sleep. For some this means reading before bed, for others it means listening to some quiet music or taking a shower. Explore what works for you and try to stick to a bedtime routine. Putting the electronic devices away at bedtime may prove to be very easy, or quite difficult for you. But, if you form a good routine, and use self-discipline you will be on the right track.

Be Informed

Back in the 60's and early 70's it was common for young people to exercise their freedom of peaceful assembly to protest against environmental damage caused by industrialization, civil rights violations, war and the lack of funding for social service programs to help the poor. Today, people are still exercising this right, but it is on a different level. What I notice (and some may not agree with this) is that young people today are just not as informed as they were fifty years ago. I'm not encouraging you to go out there and protest everything that you find to be unfair. But rather I am encouraging you to be informed about what is going on in your town, state, country and world. In order to form educated opinions on any topic, you will need to do the research required to form the opinion. Use caution when taking information as fact. Make sure that the information that you are reading is from a reputable source. There are a lot of parody news sites out there. Compare information from different sources to help come to a conclusion.

Your opinions will evolve over time. This is expected as you read more and learn different points about topics and events. Eventually, as you get older, you will find that some opinions tend to generally stay the same and you will be able to determine what political party you favor, if you are more liberal or conservative, and what causes are most important to you and your religious affiliation (if any.)

Understand the organization of your society, the basics of the global trading system, and the reasons behind current and past conflicts in the world. Even if you are not a religious person, understand the history of religion in the world. War happens for a number of reasons and one of those reasons is a conflict of ideology.

Don't expect your school to be able to educate you on everything! Schools follow a curriculum and there is a lot of information that they are required to pack into a very short amount of time. Supplement your education with your own research.

Are you an informed teen?

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    • Lauren Valkyrie profile image

      Lauren Valkyrie 2 years ago from United States

      Thanks for your comment Bill. I bet you have a lot of stories about your experiences teaching for 18 years! Looking forward to reading your future hubs.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The last paragraph is so important. I was a teacher for eighteen years and I always told my students that their education was their responsibility. All I could do was point them in the right direction, but education was so much more than book learning.