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The never-ending question: kids and cell phones

At no point in the foreseeable future do I see this question going away. When should a kid get a cell phone? Clearly, there’s not a single, concrete answer. It just pains me, you know, to see a 10-year-old with a cell phone in hand. I dunno, I guess it has to do with youthful innocence or something. Anyway, Terri Gruca of WCCO in Minnesota caught up with Tim Wolfe, a Verizon Wireless rep, to ask him about when kids should have cell phones.

This is his first quote, and the one that sounds more than reasonable:

“Do they do their chores on time? Do they have their homework done? If they do, they’re probably showing the responsibility that yes, they can have a phone,” he said.

An addendum to that is that the child continues to perform said tasks with the same regularity once he or she has a cell phone. Even then, the need for a cell phone needs to be addressed.

Kids want new, shiny things. We know this. We’ve been kids before, surprising as that may be. When I was 10, 12, 14 years old, I wanted every new gadget that hit the market. There wasn’t a mass market for cell phones back then, so it meant mostly CD players and stereo equipment. Cell phones, however, pose a different challenge for parents.

As I said above, there’s no hard and fast rule for giving kids cell phones. Responsibility is the only universal key, really, and even a responsible kid might not be deemed fit for cell phone usage by some parents. In the end, only the parents can decide.

On a funny parting note, here’s another quote from the article: “Some teenagers say they send 15,000 text messages in a month.” Some teenagers are liars. To send 15,000 text messages a month would mean sending 500 per day, nearly 21 per hour. Yeah, right.

2 Responses

  1. Mitch Says

    “Nearly 21 per hour”

    That made me laugh. It seems like you are amazed at such a high number. I don’t think you realize the role of texting in youth. The power users (the ones probably using 15000 a month) can easily go through 21 in about 15 minutes, and possibly even less time.

    Texting has replaced instant messaging in many circles, it is as simple as that.

    Posted on September 9th, 2008 at 5:17 pm
  2. Nel Says

    I am a 19-year old teen-ager and got a phone at the age of 16 and I can tell you yes,it is possible to do 15000 messages per month.You see,it is not necessary to type all of those 15000 messages.You may reieve a forward from one of your friends and then forward it to 25 of your friends??So,you would have sent 25 messages in 2 mins… :)

    Also,you might want to catch up with your friends or convey something to them,and this can also be sent to many people at once..So it is really possible to send out 15000 or maybe even more messages per month :)

    Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 4:24 am

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