When And Why Should Children/Teenagers Have Cell Phones?

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  1. twilanelson profile image61
    twilanelsonposted 11 years ago

    Should children and teenagers have or not have cell phones?  Why?

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Only for emergencies and parental contact.  Yes I'm serious.  Kids can't even walk down the sidewalk straight anymore, 'cause their eyes are on text messages and such.   And many of them actually have their parent's phone.   That's one thing that really irks me----calling someone only to have their kid answer their cell phone.

      1. twilanelson profile image61
        twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        My teenager does have a cell phone (that we pay for) for safety and emergencies although we have had to endure her texting under the dinner table, extremely long conversations with class mates and even walking around aimlessly talking to the blue tooth.
        Her having a cell phone proved to be most aggravating when in an emergency situation I tried to call her and she did not answer .

    2. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Brenda has a point.  Only today, a young girl got seriously injured in our neighbourhood - she crossed the road without looking, because she was so busy texting. 

      If I were a parent, I'd also be worried about health dangers.  Consider the logic.

      Lots of parents are not vaccinating their kids because some people believe there's a small risk of developing autism.  But they don't think twice about letting their kids have a cell phone, even though some doctors believe there's a big risk of developing a brain tumour.

      Australia's most prominent brain surgeon is very concerned.

      http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/mobile-p … u-worried/

      I used to work closely with people in the industry. There's a lot of money in the cell phone business, so they have a vested interest in playing down the risks. And before you say, "but surely they wouldn't do that!" - what about the petrol companies who concealed the dangers of lead, even though their own workers were dying of lead poisoning?  And what about the cigarette companies who kept quiet about the risks of smoking for decades?

      1. twilanelson profile image61
        twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for that reminder.  My daughter does use the speaker a lot and she texts more that anything, although she does use the cell phone at her ear more that I am comfortable with.  Again thank you for that reminder.

    3. Precious Pearl profile image76
      Precious Pearlposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I think that a teenager should be given a cell phone when they have proven themselves responsible enough to handle one.  For some it may be sooner than it is for others, you have to determine what is best for your child based upon how they handle other responsibilities.  Another factor, when they start going out on their own more with their friends I believe that they should have a phone for emergencies.  Some parents give their teenagers a pre-paid phone that is only good for calling them with no texting capability.  No one knows your child better than you do ... you decide.

    4. Sneha Sunny profile image85
      Sneha Sunnyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think kids need a cell phone. But for teenagers I would say that giving them cell phone may become a need at some point. I think a simple phone with least of the modern facilities will do. I got my first cell phone in my 12th standard and that was because I was injured (badly!) and during my summer vacations I used to call to my parents to pick me up after my extra classes. That time it was my need. I used to keep that cell phone hidden as cell phone was not allowed in my school. And that cell phone was one of  the most 'primitive' kind of cell phone with simple calling and messaging facility only. Now I'm in college and still not very much interested in using cell phones.

  2. johnakc profile image40
    johnakcposted 11 years ago

    Cell phones are ok, but they should not use it during the class and study.

    1. twilanelson profile image61
      twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Most instructors ask that cell phones are turned off during classes, although I know I have communicated with my daughter during school hours in an emergency.  I also found out that at one time she was checking facebook and her email during school hours (against our rules).

  3. aguasilver profile image70
    aguasilverposted 11 years ago

    I hate cell phones anyway, even for adults, maybe especially for adults. I rarely use mine now, but at one point I was spending 4 hours a day on one, and frying my brain, so no thank you, no cell phone for my daughter at 10 years of age, despite her peer pressure pleas that all her friends have one.

    If I did get her one it would be the most basic, no bells and flashing lights but a cheap model that more of less just was a phone, definitely NOT an iPhone or similar, no FB in school, no games.

    When she can afford to buy a fancy phone, is when she can have one

    1. twilanelson profile image61
      twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, I do share some of your ideas about the cell phone.  My daughter gets a little teasing from her peers about her simple cell phone but she has what she needs in an emergency.  Have a nice day!

    2. Disturbia profile image59
      Disturbiaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm right there with aguasilver, I hate cell phones too. They are invasive, intrusive, distracting, and in some cases just plain rude. Unfortunately, they have also become a necessity in our modern world and if kids have to have them at all, I feel probably about middle school age, or as soon as they start going places with their friends where the parent isn't going to be there, i.e. the mall, parties, etc.  It's the only way to get hold of them and if they have gps, it's a good way to track them and make sure they are where they say they are. 

      But I hate to see them walking around like mindless zombies with their heads down and their fingers texting away. It's gotten way out of control with kids because parents have let it, and I don't see any way of stuffing that genie back into the bottle.  Unfortunately, adults are just as bad as the kids.

      1. twilanelson profile image61
        twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        It is true that parents get just as caught up in their cell phone use as kids.  My "husband" rarely spoke on the phone and chose a simple plan.  Now he goes over his minutes every month, every time he leaves he calls home for the silliest reasons and he has even learned how to text.  At our age It is hilarious!

        1. Disturbia profile image59
          Disturbiaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Sadly, there was one night at my house where my then 15 year old and I were sitting in the same room, she on the recliner  and I on the sofa, texting each other.  Talk about hilarious.

          1. gracenotes profile image90
            gracenotesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Could be useful with an elderly person who is losing his/her hearing!

            If my late dad had learned to text, and if that mode had been perfected during the last years of his life, I feel some of his communication with my mom would have been vastly improved. Dad refused to wear a hearing aid.

            You should see my cell phone.  You would laugh at it.

            I do not intend to give up my landline, but my archaic cell phone does seem to be necessary, even if I don't use it much.

            As for kids, they can be given a plain vanilla "emergency" phone.

  4. SmartAndFun profile image95
    SmartAndFunposted 11 years ago

    We made our daughter wait until she was 13 before we allowed her to have a cell phone. It seems like kids with their own phones are getting younger and younger. At 13, my d was one of the last in her group. My son is 10 and many of his friends have phones -- many of them iphones.

    I must admit it is handy being able to communicate with her easily when she is not here. If she gets caught using her phone during class, she will get it taken away and must pay a $20 fine to get it back. That seems to work very well for the teachers. She mainly texts so I'm not too worried about the brain risk. I don't think she puts it to her ear but maybe once in a blue moon.

    As far as iphones go, the other day we were giving a 10yo girl a ride home and she was surfing the web on her iphone, watching these funnly little videos which were inappropriate for a 10yo, IMO. Nothing horrible, but not appropriate for that age. Her mom has no idea what she's finding on the web with that phone. Also, some friends of ours noticed that their 15yo son was tired all the time and his grades were slipping. Turns out he was staying up most of the night when his parents were alseep, watching porn on his iphone. Yikes, parents, wake up! Put controls on the phone, hide the phone at night, take the batteries out, get your kid a texting only plan, SOMETHING!

  5. BrianMI6 profile image61
    BrianMI6posted 11 years ago

    Never.  They should never have them.  Yes...that seems about right.

  6. LongTimeMother profile image90
    LongTimeMotherposted 11 years ago

    I think it depends on your personal circumstances, so there's no clear answer to the original question. I would like to toss this one thought into the mix though ...

    Even the most well-behaved and responsible teenager will be tempted to join their peers in some kind of social activity you don't approve of. Whether that's sneaking out at night (like all the teenagers in movies do), or going somewhere else when they are supposed to be at a best friend's house, it is even more difficult to catch them if they have a mobile or cell phone.

    When my teenagers stayed over at a friend's house, they knew there was every possibility I would phone on the land line for a chat - perhaps just to ask a question. I didn't call every time, but often enough for them to know they had better be where they were meant to be. Trust has always been a big issue in our home.

    If you phone them on a mobile phone, how do you know where they are when they answer? My preference with teenagers has always been to let them take one of my phones if I thought they'd need it.  Otherwise I'd call their friends' phones if they were going out as a group.

    I have known teenagers who had their siblings - in one case, even a child from next door - phone them to alert them when their parents returned home so they could quickly scamper back through the bedroom window. One girl would text her boyfriend when she thought it was safe for him to collect her from around the corner.

    When my children asked me why they weren't allowed a phone until their late teenage years, I simply said "Because I care," and "Because it's my job to protect you from everyone, including yourself."

    My eldest children are adults now and have expressed their gratitude that I didn't make it easy for them to get into trouble. The older they get, the more pleased they are. 

  7. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
    mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years ago

    I know she wasn't a teenager, but the same could apply to a teenager. In the case I am referring to a woman was abducted along with her car. The abductor locked her in the trunk of the car, but he didn't realise she had her mobile phone on her. She called the Police and was talking quietly to them as he was driving. He kept shouting to her asking why she kept talking (he couldn't hear what she was saying), she kept calling back that she was praying. Actually what she was doing was describing to the Police the sounds she could hear as they drove along and telling them her car description, where she had been abducted etc. At one point the signal was lost, but she managed to call them back. Ultimately the abductor dumped the car in the middle of nowhere and left her locked in the trunk. The Police sent out helicopters looking for her and told her to tell them when she could hear the helicopters. Eventually this is how they found her, otherwise she might never have been rescued. The mobile phone quite literally saved her life.

    1. Druid Dude profile image60
      Druid Dudeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Cellphones can be tracked. Cell phones can take pictures and send them to another phone or even a computer. Teach your child what to do in case of any emergency.

      1. twilanelson profile image61
        twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you so much for some extremely solid advice.   Since many of our children/teenagers have cell phones they can be knowledgeable about options they have during emergencies and dangerous situations.

        Including cell phone and communication plans to family safety & preparedness routines are a fantastic idea.  Enjoy a wonderful day!

      2. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
        mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I haven't got children, but I can certainly in circumstances like the one I described before see the advantages of a child having a cell phone.

        1. twilanelson profile image61
          twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Your previous post as well as others were a reality check for me personally since my teenager has a cell phone.  She should know how to use the options she has in different circumstances and not just for fun or convenience.  Thank you.

  8. Shanna11 profile image76
    Shanna11posted 11 years ago

    Maybe I'm just the epitome of well behaved teenager, but I got my first phone (a brick of a nokia) in seventh grade, when I started staying after school for clubs and sports. I needed to call home for a ride and there were no public phones nearby, and my mom didn't want me to have to rely on other kids who might not always be around.

    I didn't have texting on my phone until I was a sophomore in high school however, and I had to pay for that. Also, I knew the dangers of using my phone while driving, and always turned my phone off in the car. I still do. I don't text when I walk and I avoided any hint at inappropriate activity involving cellphones (nude pics, etc).

    My parents taught me well and it helped that I was obedient, I guess.

  9. Polly C profile image91
    Polly Cposted 11 years ago

    I don't know a single secondary school child without a phone (age 11 upwards). My son has one and I prefer it that way. At this age, all the children go to school alone and come home alone, and often want to socialise with friends after school. I know that in the past, no one carried phones at all and most people survived. But I like the peace of mind of being able to contact my son when I feel I need to, and I like him to be able to call me if he isn't coming straight home or if he needs to for any reason.  The main problem is, it is hardly ever turned on unless he wants to call me! 

    My son hardly ever speaks on his phone for more than a minute or two, and he doesn't text much either.  I wouldn't like the idea of him using it a lot to talk on and he knows how I feel about this. However, it never becomes an issue, at least not yet.

    1. profile image0
      kelleywardposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm concerned about young children having cell phones next to their head during such a sensitive time of brain development. We don't know the long term consequences of this yet.

      1. Polly C profile image91
        Polly Cposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        No, we don't, which is why I wouldn't be happy if he was having regular conversations on it. It's mostly a precaution. His conversations are literally 20 seconds long and infrequent. Perhaps once or twice a week. To be honest, if he hasn't got his phone with him he just uses someone elses. It happens a lot as he is very bad at keeping it charged. He doesn't use it at all for idle chit chat with friends, but that might be because he is a boy.

        1. twilanelson profile image61
          twilanelsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          On a lighter note, be prepared because my daughter's two best friends are the people she text messages the most and they are boys.  We find ourselves cutting their conversations and texting short many an evening.


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