Cell Phones: Neccesity or Luxury? [Teen Article]

Caroline is 16 years old and is from Long Island, NY. She likes to listen to music, write, and hang out with her friends in her spare time. She is interested in following a major in English or Psychology.cell phones and teens: neccesity or luxury?

I was walking through town the other day when a girl nearly crashed into me because her eyes – and thumbs – were glued to the keys on her cell phone. She didn’t look older than nine or ten years old, and I had to ask myself: “Does she really need that?” What use does a nine or ten year old have for a cell phone? I mean, I barely use mine! But as a child’s schedule becomes more and more crowded and kids are shifted from one activity to the next, many parents are finding that cell phones are a necessity for making sure they know where their kids are. But when a cell phone comes packed with additional IMing, gaming and internet services, is it no longer considered a necessity? Is that where it becomes another expensive, luxurious gadget?

Top 5 Reasons Why A Cell Phone is Necessary
1. If a child has a busy schedule, calling them is a simple and quick way to find out where they are, what they’re doing next and when they’re coming home.

2. If a child is in an emergency situation, he or she can quickly call for help using a cell phone.

3. Some phones come with helpful services, such as a GPS system, that can assist if you are lost.

4. If children need to call a friend (for school reasons, lost homework, etc) they can use their cell phone and not tie up the home line in case their parents need it.

5. When a child becomes old enough to start filling out job applications, he or she can write their cell phone number in (instead of their home number) and the company can contact them anywhere, anytime.

3 Signs The Phone is Becoming A Luxury

1. Texting. Texting can be beneficial if the child is in a public place and doesn’t want their conversation overheard, but when texting bills become sky-high from messages like “wut’s up!?!” , that’s where the phone is becoming a substitute for personal contact.

2. If your teen is distracted in school because of games on their phone, clearly they are not using their phone for “necessary” reasons.

3. If a phone is being purchased as a necessity, it doesn’t need the extra features like a QWERTY keyboard, a touchscreen, internet, etc. If you want to cut down on the bills and time-wasters, buy a simple, no-frills phone for your teen.

If you are on the fence about buying your child a cell phone, I would recommend starting your child off with a simple phone used only for calling parents. Not starting your child off with a luxurious phone with all the bells and whistles ensures that he or she will be learning how to use a cell phone in a responsible way. Also, simple phones are often inexpensive. I’ve definitely lost my share of cell phones (or else had them stolen) so an inexpensive phone might be the better way to go if you’re afraid your child will lose the phone.

And if you have a child who has a cell phone – and find that he is abusing texting or gaming privileges in an expensive way – suggest he pay for his own text messages. They add up fast!

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