Kelsey is a crazy 17-year-old from Franklin, TN. She loves writing, acting, and hanging out with friends. Her favorite subject is English and she hopes to teach it herself when she gets older.
Let’s face it; from iPhones to Blackberries, from Cingular to Sprint, cell phones have conquered teenage culture. They have become an integral part of the ever-advancing, new technology which constantly bombards teens’ lives. Ever since Zack of “Saved By the Bell” sported his own cell phone – an awkward and unappealing contraption by today’s standards – they have played a growing role in teen culture. Teachers see them daily, hiding behind purses and backpacks strategically positioned on desks or laps. Parents see them constantly, glued to a child’s hand as he or she passes time doing absolutely nothing.
Now the convenient little devices, oh so sleek and slim, reflect much of a teenager’s position in high school hierarchy: social standing, trendiness, etc. Factors such as the type of phone, the network name, and its various capabilities are considered by teens when rating the cell phone.
And cell phones also come with an entirely new law of etiquette. Never, ever ask someone out on a date through text message, for example. Likewise, one should never dump a person through text. The list continues. But despite these unwritten rules, cell phones tend to worsen relationships in today’s world.
A cell phone in the hand seems almost to contain some sort of energy all its own. It empowers the human to go to new levels of communication. This might commonly be seen as good, but it has plenty of negative aspects. For instance, when teens text message each other, they are given the chance to say things they probably would never have said face-to-face. They do not have to immediately face their peers after pressing SEND. They can say something harsh and biting, without having to face the consequences directly.
This brand new form of communication, so instantaneous and yet totally roundabout, mars teens’ relationships. Rather than one-on-one, face-to-face interaction, many teenagers settle for “texting.” Often they allow themselves to become completely wrapped up in this virtual exchange; they opt out of face time with the family and spend more phone time with friends.
No doubt, this phenomena is unavoidable in today’s increasingly technological society. But, there is also no doubt in my mind that many teens can yet be saved. They have not all been lost already. The best and most important cure to teens and their cell phones is simply limitations. Cell phones are certainly useful (some might even call them vital); so as long as teens don’t become dependent on them – as long as Junior can enjoy a movie without whipping his out, as long as Sally can go a full school day with hers tucked safely in her pocket and not glued to her hands – there is no reason to fear cell phones.
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