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To Give Or Not To Give Your Teen A Mobile Phone?
Source: Open Talk Magazine 25/02/2011 02:35:00
Majority of people in today’s society have taken part in the mobile phone craze. There are many good reasons for carrying a mobile phone, but there are also reasons why some should not carry a mobile phone. A good reason for carrying a mobile phone is that parents and friends can easily stay in touch with their loved ones. Another good reason is that one can conveniently reach out for help in case of an emergency. However, some reasons why some should not carry a mobile phone include the fact that it’s an added distraction to many. Another reason; mobile phones have become a favorite pass time amongst teenagers to a point where it’s become a dangerous object in more ways than one.
Before jumping the gun and purchasing your teen a mobile phone, you should first evaluate your situation and determine the primary reason for wanting to take the mobile phone plunge. You may feel that a mobile phone is needed to stay in contact with your teen or you may feel that a mobile will instill a sense of responsibility. Either way you will want to look at both the positives and the negatives before making your decision.
Positives vs. Negatives
Positive: You can conveniently stay in contact with your teen 24 hours a day, thus maintaining a tighter communication line. If you need to notify your teen that you are going to be working later than originally planned, then you can simply make a phone call or send a text to relay the message.
Negative: A mobile phone adds cost to your utility bills. You now can purchase a mobile phone at a reasonably low cost or even free of charge, however unless you purchase a ‘pay-as-you-go’ plan, you can find yourself with a massive overage bill at the end of the month. Make sure you are clear on the differences between all available phone plans and services, and even though you feel that your teen will listen to your restrictions on phone usage, it’s wise to have the phone plan set to shut down after reaching a certain number of minutes each month.
Positive: Mobile phones add great security whenever an emergency situation presents itself. If something happens such as a car accident or an issue with other people, then your teen can conveniently make an emergency phone call to the proper authorities free of charge even if all the phone minutes have been used.
Negative: Mobile phones are time killers. Most young people use mobile phones as a past time and become consumed with the idea of being able to talk with their friends whenever they wish. Teens often prefer to send text messages as opposed to having a quick phone conversation; however text messaging takes considerably more time over voice conversations. For many people, a mobile phone is not a time saver but rather a time killer.
Negative: A mobile phone offers private communication. Since calls will come straight to your teen’s phone, and not to the home phone, you may not be aware of who is on the other side of the conversation. Most youths make use of mobile phones to institute secret contact with the opposite sex. Frequently exchanging messages with or talking to a member of the opposite sex is a form of dating in today’s society. Many sex predators, including those not yet established as being a sex predator, use texting to arrange dates and meeting places.
Negative: Mobile phones have become major distractions and have cost the lives of many. You can drive around town and take notice of one person using the cell phone while driving for every ten drivers. Out of 100 teen drivers, over 50% of teen drivers have admitted to texting while driving. This is a scary but very real statistic, and it’s best to educate your teen of the risks of mobile phone usage while driving.
As with any thing in life, you have to take the bad with the good. When making a decision to purchase your teenager a mobile phone, it’s best to lay everything out on the table, and make the judgment based on what’s real, what’s needed and not based on what’s ‘hip’ in today’s society.