Teenage Mobile Phone Addiction
Mobile phones have become a necessity for both adults and teenagers. Today most of the teenagers own a mobile phone. Parents have realised that mobile phones are useful for their children as they provide safety and security. Teenagers spend most of their time outside and so parents are always worried about their whereabouts. With mobile phones parents feel comfortable and they no longer need to wonder if their teenager is going to be late or is having a problem. Mobile phones allow the teenagers to communicate with their parents or ask for help if they are in difficulty.
But this can also add up costs of their mobile phone bills. As we know teenagers enjoy talking on the phone and sending text messages to their friends, parents may end up paying high bills. Prepaid mobile phones are a good option to keep the expenses down.
Teenagers can also learn about the financial management of their own bills. Other downside is that teenagers loose their mobile phones quite often. So they need to be responsible and use their mobile phones carefully. Most parents agree that though teenagers want to have a mobile phone as a status symbol, at the same time these mobile phones are also used for safety reasons.
Parents cannot find a way other than mobile phones to know that their son or daughter is safe. Their child is now just a phone call away. So the concern over being able to keep in touch with their children is the main reason behind their decision to give their child a mobile phone. Leaving their teenager without a mobile phone could affect their cool factor with their friends.
There should be certain guidelines for mobile phone use by children:
- No mobile phone use should be allowed during class
- No ringing mobile phones or loud ringtones should be allowed during school hours.
- Headset should be provided to the teenager
- Limit the monthly limits to minimum
How should I talk about teen texting with my child?
Your teen may be more digitally savvy than you are, but a lack of maturity can easily get him or her into trouble when using technology. That's why it's important to talk to your teen early about texting and proper use of cell phones. Before you start a conversation, get to know the technology firsthand. Then ask your teen:
- What features do you use on your cell phone? Can you show me how to use them?
- Has anyone you don't know ever sent you a text message? If so, what did you do about it? How did he or she get your number?
- How many numbers do you have stored in your phone? Do you personally know all of these people?
- Has anyone ever taken an embarrassing picture of you without your permission? Have you ever taken an embarrassing picture of someone else? What did you do with it?
- Who would you tell if someone sent you a text or picture that was inappropriate?
- Have you ever communicated with someone you met online through your cell phone?
What are the risks of teen texting?
Teen texting can pose potentially serious physical and emotional risks. Talk to your teen about:
- Texting while driving. Research suggests that distractions such as texting may be an even greater threat to teens than to other drivers. Peer influence also may play a role. The more passengers in the car, the more likely young drivers are to use cell phones while driving. Talk to your teen about the consequences of texting while driving. Monitor your teen's driving behavior, and set clear rules and consequences — such as revoking driving privileges if your teen texts while driving.
- Disrupted sleep. Many adolescents send and receive text messages after turning out their lights and going to bed, which can interfere with a good night's sleep. Even moderate nighttime texting can greatly increase the risk of long-term fatigue. Consider keeping your teen's cell phone out of his or her room at night.
- Sexting. Sexting refers to sending a text message with sexually explicit content or a sexually explicit picture. This type of texting can cause emotional pain for the person in the picture, as well as the sender and receiver. Explain to your teen that text messages shouldn't contain pictures of people without their clothes on or kissing or touching each other. Make sure your teen understands that sending this type of text message is considered a crime in some areas and that the consequences could involve the police and suspension from school.
- Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying refers to sending harassing texts, emails or instant messages, as well as posting intimidating or threatening Web sites or blogs. Receiving bullying text messages can make a teen feel unsafe and lead to school absences. Discuss cyberbullying with your teen. Encourage your teen to talk to you or another trusted adult if he or she receives harassing text messages and to consider options such as rejecting texts from unknown numbers. Explain to your teen that it isn't appropriate to send harassing text messages to others.
Cell phones addiction
When you get in your car, you reach for it. When you're at work, you take a break to have a moment alone with it. When you get into an elevator, you fondle it.Cigarettes? Cup of coffee? Nope, it's the third most addictive substance in modern life, the cell phone. And experts say it is becoming more difficult for many people to curb their longing to hug it more tightly than most of their personal relationships. With its shiny surfaces, its sleek and satisfying touch, its mysteries and air of sophistication, the cell phone connects us to the world even as it disconnects us from people three feet away. In just the past couple of years, the cell phone has challenged individuals, employers, manufacturers and therapists in ways its inventors in the late 1940s never imagined.
The costs are becoming ever more evident, and I don't mean just the monthly bill. Dr. Chris Knippers, a counselor at the Betty Ford Center in Southern California, reports that the overuse of cell phones has become a social problem for tens of thousands of Americans not much different than other harmful addictions: an obstacle to one-on-one personal contact, and an escape from reality.
Sounds extreme, but we've all witnessed the evidence: The guy at a restaurant who talks on the phone through an entire meal, ignoring his kids around the table. The woman who yaks on the phone in the car, ignoring her husband. The teen who text-messages all the way home from school, avoiding contact with kids all around him.Is it just rude, or is it a pathology? And pardon my own manners, but what's the investment angle?
Jim Williams, an industrial sociologist based in Massachusetts, notes that cell-phone addiction is part of a set of symptoms in a widening gulf of personal isolation. He cites a study by Duke University researchers that found one-quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom to discuss their most important personal business. Despite the growing use of phones, e-mail and instant messaging, in other words, Williams says studies show that we don't have as many pals as our parents. "Just as more information has led to less wisdom, more acquaintances via the Internet and cell phones have produced fewer friends," he says.
If the mobile phone has truly had these effects, it's because it has become incredibly pervasive. Consider that as recently as 1987, there were only 1 million cell phones in use. Today something like 200 million Americans carry them. Almost three-quarters of American households have at least one, and many have three to five. About half of teens aged 13 to 16 have one. They far outnumber wired phones in the United States.
How do I set appropriate limits on my teen's use of text messages?
Start by talking to your teen about how much he or she texts. You can also review cell phone records to see if your teen is sending or receiving late-night texts. Working together, set an appropriate limit for your teen's use of the technology. You might also have your teen pay for the cost of his or her texts with allowance money or by performing chores or working at a part-time job. Explain to your teen any exceptions, such as texting with you or other family members and texting during emergency situations. Also, let your teen know that you'll periodically check his or her phone for inappropriate content. The older your teen is, the more often you may need to check. You may also be able to use software to monitor your teen's text and picture messages. If your teen isn't willing to follow the rules and expectations you've set, consider removing your teen's ability to text or send pictures through his or her phone.Pay attention to warning signs that your teen may be spending too much time texting, including:
Positive Discipline for Teenagers
- Skipping activities, meals or homework to text
- Weight loss or gain
- A drop in grades or other academic problems
What else can I do to help my teen text safely?
Understand the types of security settings that are available on your teen's cell phone and use them appropriately. In addition, remind your teen that any text message he or she sends can be shared with the entire world, so it's important to use good judgment. Discourage your teen from gossiping, spreading rumors, bullying or damaging someone's reputation through text messages — and have an honest discussion about the consequences of poor judgment.
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