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Mobile Phone Addiction

Updated on June 25, 2011

Is it just me or has the world gone mad? Both my daughters seem to be suffering from that terrible disease "Mobile Phone Addiction." I say addiction, because it is like a drug to which they have become dependent. My older daughter is sixteen years old and recently got herself a part time weekend job to help fund her addiction. Fortunately, at the moment my ten year old daughter is happy to receive her many cast-off mobile phones.

Nicola, the oldest sibling cannot be without her phone, it goes everywhere with her and does everything. She uses it to text, check her messages, facebook, twitter, takes photos with it, works out her finances with the calculator, uses the diary function to organise her social life, check the latest online fashions, books cinema tickets, listens to music, plays the odd game, checks weather forecast, and of course makes the odd call! Honestly when she texts, her fingers move at breackneck speed that I'm surprised she hasn't fractured them before now!

Shopping trip

Last week I took her shopping to buy a dress for her end of school year prom. After many hours, many shops and very painful feet, she managed to narrow it down to a possible two dresses. She asked for my opinion, which I gave, it went down like a cup of cold sick! The next thing I know she takes a photo of herself wearing each outfit and sends them to her friend for her obviously much more valued opinion. Her text went off a few moments later, with the reply she had wanted - the short black dress with no back. It wasn't a dress, it was half a dress! Every few minutes her text alerts were going off, she answered them while we continued shopping. She was multi-tasking - just wish she could use this skill when at home to tidy her room.

Phone Facts

  • Almost 4 out of 5 teenagers own a mobile phone.
  • They have become more of a status/popularity symbol now than clothes and jewellery.
  • 80% of teens state that they feel safer and more secure carrying a mobile phone when they are out.
  • 57% of teenagers organise their social life using their mobile.
  • Teens text 5 times more than adults.
  • Around one third of teens use their cell phone for gaming.
  • 20% of teens use mobile phones for social networking.

A lesson learned

At my daughter's high school, the rule is that mobile phones must be switched off and remain in their locker until the end of the school day, which I totally agree with. I remember one day she came home from school, visibly upset and crying. When I asked what was wrong, it emerged that she had kept her phone in her bag and forgotton to switch it off. Her friend (in the classroom!) had texted her with an emergency - she needed to know what the plans were for lunch! Just as the text message alert tone sounded, her teacher qute rightly confiscated the phone and told her to collect it from the office at the end of the day. This is when she started to sob and went on to explain that she had gone to the office at 4pm after her last lesson to collect it, only to find that the office had closed early and the secretary had gone home. She was devastated, and moped around all evening bugging the life out of me and the rest of the family - she remained grumpy and bad-tempered for the rest of the night.

By morning she was still no better, in fact she was livid. I didn't need to go through my usual morning ritual of trying to waken her every 5 minutes with a time check, instead she was up, showered and dressed by 8am to go to school and wait for the office to open at 8.30am. She did get her phone back and learned a valuable lesson. During its time in solitary confinement in the locked filing cabinet, there were 17 missed calls and 36 texts!

Text talk

When I type a text message out, it generally takes me about ten minutes as I seem to write long essays, partly because I haven't yet learned all of the abbreviations and text speak. When I'm sent a text by my daughter, I have to carefully decode it to understand what is being said, I'm sure she could get a job with the CIA if she wanted! These are some of the text talk I have received recently: (my youngest daughter had to translate them for me!)

gtg - got to go

pmu - pick me up

lmao - laughing my ass off

ty - thank you

jtlyk - just to let you know

iw4U - I'm waiting for you

yhni - you have no idea

omwh - on my way home

Although I moan about her constant finger twitching, I do prefer her to carry her phone with her at all times. Not only can I reach her, more importantly, she can get in touch with me at anytime.

I do think that before a child is given a mobile phone, it is important that they have learned the value of money. You don't want to be hit by a huge bill at the end of the month.

Tariff Options

Understanding the value of money is the biggest problem facing parents of children who want to be the owner of the latest phone. It is a booming business as all of the phone manufacturers compete to have the smartest, sleekest and technologically superior phone. Children and teenagers need to grasp the fact that every text, call and internet download costs money. Foolishly, I did have a HUGE bill at the end of the month when my older daughter was given a phone for her 13th birthday. I did sit her down and laid the rules of use, from her allowances and the costings of the tariff she was on. When the bill arrived, I was expecting it to be around £25 but instead was a whopping £73. I nearly had a fit, and that's when I decided to put her on Pay as You Go. I would put £25 of credit on her phone at the start of the month and when it was used up it was gone until the beginning of the next month. She then began using her phone more sensibly and understood the concept of not making her parents bankrupt!

Last year I decided that since she was managing to cope quite well with the Pay as You Go, I put her on a contract with a maximum spend of £25. Since she now has her weekend job, she has really learned the value of money. I still pay for her phone each month, and the money she earns she spends on extras like music downloads and all the latest apps.


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    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Thanks for the info mikaelmike. Very interesting. I can't believe how many people actually use their mobile phones while visiting the toilet!!

    • profile image

      mikaelmike 6 years ago

      Good article thanks.

      There's a great mobile phone addiction infographic here:

    • profile image

      lolza 6 years ago

      :) im 768383 and i never had a phone......

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Hi zi.ripon, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comment.

    • zi.ripon profile image

      zi.ripon 6 years ago from Dhaka,Bangladesh

      nice article. thanks for share it............

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      Thanks cloverleaf for your comment and the vote up. I can barely work mine. My 10 year old often shows me shortcuts that I didn't even know I had! Takes me ages to even send a text, but my teen daughter is so fast with her fingers.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      jacqui2011, scary facts that teenagers use their phones to organize so much of their social life (and I agree most of their social life is on facebook and twitter anyway). Nice hub, voted up, up, up!

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      I know what you mean travel_man, I'm not so much a turtle as a snail in reverse when it comes to mobile phones. I will probably get the hang of mine in about 18months when its time to renew my phone for a more complex one!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I can't help but to compare your daughter with my two nieces who also text at a very fast pace even without looking at the tabs.

      I'm a turtle when it comes to mobile phones. And those abbreviations, thanks for sharing it. I really find it hard to understand these new teens or present generation. (sighs)

    • jacqui2011 profile image

      jacqui2011 6 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @Deborah-Diane - I am slowly getting to grips with my phone, but I'm not too confident with it yet. Maybe I will try and make my next comment using my phone!

      @Brett.Tesol - Thanks for your comment. Phones are certainly taking over, so I think at some point I should try and keep up with technology.

      @myi4u - I've now got into the habit of carrying my phone with me, but either forget to charge it, or don't hear it when it rings. I am getting a bit better now. Lol!

    • myi4u profile image

      myi4u 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I suppose everyone is a mobile phone addict nowadays. Imagine that i got my first ever mobile phone at the age of 18. How things have changed now with children are already carrying a mobile phone while studying primary school or even before then. In fact, i don't actually remember what was i doing in that 17 years without a mobile phone. All i know now is that my mobile phone never leaves me! Great hub!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      So true ... mobiles are becoming such useful and diverse tools that they are very addictive. Music, games, internet, movies, office ... there's not much they can't do now

      Great hub, voted up and useful

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      The new mobile phones are addictive! This comment was even written on one!