Kids and Cellphones

United States
March 12, 2009 2:34pm CST
I keep remembering when I was a teenager, there were no cellphones!! And I did just fine. What is all the hipe with teenagers not being able to LIVE with out them??? I don't understand. And the parents keep paying thier cell bills! For one, my son, who is 15, does have one, but he can't use it right now cause it is out of minutes and his dad hasn't paid anything on it. I can't afford a cell phone at all (his dad and I are divorced). I think the teen should get a job and pay for it themself if they cant live without one. It makes good responsibility. I always see tons of kids coming out of my sons school when I pick him up, with cell phones in thier hands. And what about getting cancer from them? I guess Ive just heard to much about it. They need to learn responsibility for their future. Dont you agree??
1 person likes this
16 responses
@mommaj (22773)
• United States
12 Mar 09
I can't believe how many children have them and at a young age. I think it is a little ridiculous. Who needs to reach out and touch someone 24 hours a day! They are good to have riding in your car in case you break down but other than that... I like quiet time without anyone talking to me sometimes and if you are carrying a cell phone with you that is just an opportunity for someone to call you.
2 people like this
• United States
13 Mar 09
I agree. It is fine for an emergency, but not all the time. I think it is wasted money. I see people all the time in the grocery stores talking non stop and even at the check outs! I think that is kind of rude. But thats my opinion. I have no need for one, and I cant afford it anyway.
@mommaj (22773)
• United States
13 Mar 09
The one thing that irritates me the most is someone stopped in the middle of an aisle talking on a cell phone. I figure if you can't walk and talk at the same time you should own a cell phone. It's one thing if you are calling someone to discuss what is in a certain product and if it is the right one, but people just casually chatting and blocking aisles annoy me.
• United States
12 Mar 09
I will be 19 next week, and I am still not using a cell phone. I come from a frugal family, and if you want something, you work for it yourself. I think cell phones are expensive, therefore I do not have one, even though everyone since I was 11 has had cell phones, it is ridiculous. The only application that would be good for me to have one would be for driving, since my car would likely break down. I will take my chances though and keep my money. There are kids being raised today that have no idea what it is like to not have a lifeline to mommy and daddy and all of their friends 24/7. If they had to pay for them themselves then I am sure there would not be so many kids with cell phones. Maybe I will get one later in my life, if it deems necessary.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Mar 09
Hi sugarplum, I am sorry. I didn't mean that all kids use them, just alot do. You are very wise for not spending the money on them now. You are right, it would come in handy if your car broke down. Especially out in the middle of no where. That can be dangerous. Yes, if they had to pay themselves I am sure they would go without a cellphone. Thats why my son isn't using his. It wasn't even my idea. His dad gave it to him. Thanks for your imput.
1 person likes this
@tav_8164 (151)
• United States
13 Mar 09
I think giving kids a cellphone for emergency is a good idea if that's what it's in fact used for. However, kids now days have gone overboard!! Kids should definately not be allowed to have them on during school. I still believe it is dangerous for kids and teens to use a cellphone too much as it is believed to cause types of Cancer after using it too much. I really think it could be benificial in an emergency. And obviously if they are too young they wouldn't be able to get a job to pay for it.
2 people like this
• United States
13 Mar 09
Yes they have gone overboard. My son tells me their phones ring in the classrooms at school and they are not allowed to be on!! So I am sure alot of people get in trouble. I saw a talk show on cell phones and teens and most of them said they could never live without it. I think that is going to far.
@mrsl2008 (635)
12 Mar 09
I'm afraid I've had one since I was 18 and my eldest daughter is getting the latest Nokia tomorrow as a belated birthday gift!! She has had for about 18 months, mainly because she dances and performs in quite a few places, so I like her to be able to contact me & vice versa incase she finishes early or needs picking up. As parents we are partly to blame as we all want to please our children and ensure their safety although sometimes the phone itself makes them more vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime. I would rather her have a phone than not!! MrsL x x
2 people like this
• United States
12 Mar 09
mrsL, I can understand that you want her to be safe. I would to if it was my child. I just don't understand why kids have to use them all the time and expect thier parents to pay the bill. I mean, I got along fine with out one when I was a teen, and thats only because there were none. And in this economy I dont think people want to be paying 2 phone bills. Luckily, my son knows if he wants one, he has to pay for it. I am unable to do that, financially.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 09
My daughter has a cellphone because she does a lot of after school activities. She is twelve and very responsible. If I tell her not to use it for personal calls she will listen. She is also a straight A student. She knows if her grades drop the phone goes. I too look back and realize that I survived without a phone (how I did I dont know). But if they are willing to work with you at keeping the cost down this could be good for them. They will learn about management and being responsible. As far as getting cancer from them what cant you get cancer from these day? Good luck with your son. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 09
It sounds like she is a good kid. When you are a kid, and there is something out on the market you always want to try it. And when everyone has one, then it is hard not to have it. I guess it was easier when I grew up cause they weren't there. But alot of other things were that we couldn't live without. If they agree to the rules then that is great. Yep..cancer is everywhere
• Japan
13 Mar 09
My two oldest boys have cell phones. Both of them attend schools in the city and I like to be able to know where they are, if the train is late or they have missed the train. It is better than sitting at home and worrying. They don't talk on them for hours at end. My second son only has my cell number, his Dads number and the house number on his phone. My oldest has the leader of his team from and our numbers. My husband spends forever on his phone and uses it a lot more than the kids or me!!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 09
Hi Dreamjapan, Depending on where you live, I can understand if you want them to be safe, and in that case a cell phone is good. It sounds like they are not irresponsible which is good. Some kids just don't care how much the phone bill is. And that is who I am really talking about. Sounds like your husband is a big kid!
• United States
13 Mar 09
Hi everyone! You have all made points that I totally agree with. I don't have any children so I don't personally have to make the choice of getting one or not for a youngster. I do have many young cousins and some neices and nephews. I grew up in the eighties in a small rural farm town. There were not too many places to go to or to get into trouble. Parents generally stood in the driveway and hollered when they wanted the kids to come home. I saw my friends in school, we would gossip on the bus home and then pick up where we left off the next morning. Once I got into Junior High and High School, i had to babysit and mow lawns to get spending money for extra stuff. No regular allowance or cash for good grades allowed. Things have changed so much now. I can absolutely understand why my brother gave his oldest, a ten year old, a cell phone. They got one that restricts who she can call and so on. It is up to the parents to set boundries of how much chatting on the phone, chatting online is acceptible when she gets into that. Once she is old enough to have chores that would allow her to pay for her own minutes, then she can begin to learn about working for what you want. I agree that too many kids are growing up thinking that a cell phone is a required part of life, expect it and take it for granted. I think the kids need to be encouraged to do their socializing at school, have home time be more about family and activities and learn that the cell phone are a tool not a toy. Carrie
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 09
Hi Carrie, You have a very smart head on your shoulders. I wish more people would realize this way. That is a good idea that the parents moniter who the child can call. And taking the responsiblity of paying for the phone when she gets older will be good responsibility. If my son wants to use his phone again, he will have to pay for it himself. Cell phones shouldn't be a required part of life. There are more important things out there. Being outside playing with your friends, and like you said, being with your family. That is the most important of all.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
13 Mar 09
I can understand why parents give their kids cell phones because these days, there is so much wrong going on in our world that a cell phone can be a quick way for a child to call for help instead of having to search for a pay phone and then change to make that one call. However, it would have to be for emergency reasons if my child were to have one. (BTW, I don't have any kids) But if they wanted one, they would have to find a job to pay for the phones themselves because I wouldn't pay for them. Kids do need to learn responsibility so if they wanted a cell phone to talk all they wanted, then they'd have to get a job to pay for that phone.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 09
you are right. That is how I feel about it. I think it is fine if you have one in the car and you get stranded, but it is also very dangerous to talk on them while you are driving. It causes alot of accidents. You need to concentrate where you are going, and to watch out for other drivers. There are so many bad drivers out there now days.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
13 Mar 09
"Dont you agree??" Somewhat, but not entirely. I was thinking about starting a myLot discussion about this subject myself, but I just saw your discussion so I'll just add my two cents right here. lol First off, I agree that teens and cell phones have gone a BIT too far. Okay, maybe more than a bit. But, there are some good things about having your child cary a cell phone. First off, I don't have to sit in my car at my daugthers softball practice for TWO hours wondering when her coach will decide to finish practice THIS time. She calls me when she's done. I go pick her up. If her movie is sold out, she can call me and tell me that she's gonna catch the next one and I don't need to pick her up for another thirty minutes. Yes, in the old days, they could use a pay phone. Well, if you've looked around, you might notice that there aren't as many of those around anymore. Also, if I need to reach her when she's out because My plans have changed, I can do so. Yes, we probably COULD function without cell phones, but it is a different world. We are moving much faster. WE are doing more things and having a cell phone does make things easier, and what's WRONG with making life a little easier IF you can?? Also, it does give me a little more peace of mind knowing that I can reach my kids if I need to and they can reach me if I need too. Isn't peace of mind worth something? Okay, now for the down side of teens and cell phones... Yes, they want to talk on them too much. Yes, they want to TEXT on them too much. Yes, they are forgetting their manners. They are forgetting common courtesy (it is rude to spend your entire time with another person texting with someone who's NOT in the room!) They want them for the WRONG reasons. (not so that mom can make sure you are safe, but because Joey at school just got a really COOL i-phone so now I want the blackberry!)Cell phones have freaking become the new status symbols, in my opinion. They are expensive. I'm sure I missed a few, but I think I've covered most of them. Thanks for the discussion!
@mgmagana (3621)
• United States
13 Mar 09
i agree..they do make life easier...there r times where i will run late to pick up my son..the office says they can't interrupt the class just to leave a message and hope that the teacher will go into the office and get that message before the day ends...so i gave my son a prepaid and he only uses it after school to check if i called and left a message...he will now know to go home with a family friend or to go to ases the after school program instead of waiting around for me then realizing i'm not coming then going to the office to call his mom and me being grateful he didn't get kidnapped waiting outside the school gates for me to get there.
• United States
13 Mar 09
miamilady, Thanks for your 2 cents. And I agree with most of what you said. Especially, with the expensive part. I can't believe how expensive they are. That is why I don't have one. I could never afford one! Then there is the monthly bill that goes along with it! I just think if the kids had to pay the bill and work for it, it would be a different story. And yes, it should be used primarily for saftey for them. Thanks!
@mgmagana (3621)
• United States
13 Mar 09
times are changing and technology is getting better i myself can't live without my cell phone...when i was a teen pagers were the thing and my parents got me one...i think that cancer thing is a rarity...just as crashing while on an airplane but i'm sure u'll still allow ur kids to fly. my 9 yr. old has a prepaid cell phone for emergencies... so if u don't think ur kids NEED it at least get them one for emergencies and a means for u to reach them and if u see them going over board then set limits and tell them if they cross those limits it will be taken away.
• United States
13 Mar 09
Thats true. Emergencies are important. But I am always home so my son can always call me. And he knows his dads cell to. I just cant afford one. I have no use for one because I am unable to work so I am always home. But I think if they earn them it is a different story.
• India
13 Mar 09
Of coarse giving cellphones to kids is not a sensible thing untill and unless it is required.Otherwise cellphones are not really required for kids or teenagers because it is seen that young generations are misusing the cellphones by calling their bf and gf and doing time pass and dating with them.Young age is not for doing time pass but should be serious for thier studies and carrier.But now a days it has become a necessity for all and nobody bothers about how it can harm somebody's health in future.
• United States
13 Mar 09
Yes I agree. My mom got me a cell phone when I was I belive around 15 years old. I started working and paying my own bill. Kids have to earn what they get in life in order to realize that things in the real World aren't just handed to them, you have to earn them!
@ladynetz (968)
• Canada
13 Mar 09
I told my kids not to talk a lot on the cellphone, because the cancer risk and the bill cost. I made them a special program that they can text message unlimited monthly, and that I don't mind them messageing. But when tehy have to talk, to use the home phone, It's both safer and cheaper. I bought them cellphones, mostly for security reasons. To know where they are and if they need something, to be able to call me at any time. You're right, they should pay for themselves, work , but not on the school's expense. First school, then work. So, for as long as they keep it cost low and effective, I don't mind paying.
@hotsummer (10308)
• Philippines
13 Mar 09
well i think that kids do not really need cellphone. cause i think that they are just too young and most probably they will meet their friends always even without using a cellphone. they hang out with their friends the whole day mostly and so what is the need for them to keep in touch with their friends on the phone. they just have to learn how to live with out a phone. not unless if they can earn and save money for themselves and pay for the bills on the phone. but there are already prepaid cards now. and so they can use so they can better manage on how much they will spend on the text messages and call that they will going to use.
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
13 Mar 09
I buy minutes for my phone and make them last. My phone is only for 2 minute conversations. I get upset if I have to stay on he phone for more than a few minutes. I only pay for outgoing calls so that is good. Several of my friends only text so the cost stays under control. My American cell in on Cingular as are may parents and friends. I buy the cheapest card for my phone. About $1 a day for my trip. I use the plan that I pay $1 for each day I make calls and all calls to Cingular are free. The actual phone I bought was $20 with 15 of call time. I only call people on the Cingular network. A $5 phone makes calls and is perfectly fine for communication. I would like a really cool camera phone, but I'm not spending the money for it. It works out really cheep. Other providers have similar plans were you can call X number of people on the same network for free. This is good for kids too. They can chat without breaking the bank. If you give a kid an allowance and let them choose how much to put on the phone and how much to use for going to fast food and buying stuff, they will learn to keep their calls under control. Of course you and your ex will have to agree on how much spending money to give your kid and to stop paying for the phone. He will learn to budget his money and learn not to overuse his phone.
• United States
13 Mar 09
If and when my children want a cell phone this is something they will have to get on their own. I have a pre-paid cell phone I use myself and I pay for it my self. I agree that kids now a days act like they can not live without such pleasures.I try hard to instill in my kids that you work for what you want and get.