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Cell Phones For Kids

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TEENS: CELL PHONES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN CARS?

All parents today, whether they have a teenager right now or a newborn, sooner or later are going to have to deal with the cell phone dilemma. They might be able to give their child a real kids cell phone when they are young but as they approach the teen years, that will NOT be good enough.

I found two very interesting articles that discuss the impact cell phones are having on teenagers. The first from the New York Times, explains how a smart phone is now just as or even more desirable to a teen than a car! The auto industry is actually trying to figure out how to get more teens interested in buying cars and they are including integrating cell phone like features into them to create interest.

It is incredible that teenagers in 2012 see having a smart phone as the new way to show that they are an “adult” and have independence from their parents. The importance of being able to drive and have access to a car is now not nearly as important to them as it has been to all previous generations. In the “old” days, having a car meant freedom and independence while now you can apparently get that for the much smaller price of a smart phone!

The second article is about the high frequency that today’s teenagers text. An astonishing 7 texts per hour (awake time) or a total of over 3.400 per month is apparently what many of them do right now. This number is very disconcerting to any parent who doesn’t want to raise a kid who has his or her head buried in their cell phone all the time.

Predictably girls text more than boys but either way, those numbers are staggering and show why teenagers are increasingly using more and more data on their mobile devices. Parents might also be concerned that texts are silent and they can’t hear or see anything their kids are saying to their friends when they text. When teens had to talk, at least they had to run up to their rooms and close the door if they wanted or needed privacy. Now they can have that privacy anywhere when they text.

Like it or not, this is the way things are and will be going forward. Parents are going to have to figure out what they will or will not allow and know that they will get tremendous push back from their teens. When all their friends seem to have a cell phone / smart phone, it is hard to tell your kids that they cannot have one too.

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