While mobile communications has given us great power, it has also caused our society great concern. With recent changes in school district’s policies, and new cell phone usage laws for drivers starting soon, cell phones have been the topic of conversation by many Delaware residents in recent weeks.
In part one of this series, we will discuss the current trends in cell phone use. In part two we will discuss cell phones in schools, and in part three we will discuss new laws regarding using hand held cell phones while driving.
As far as school age kids and cell phones, the phone carriers will tell you that mobile communications helps parents to keep a tab on where their kids are and is a useful tool in case of emergency. A recent poll conducted on behalf of Duracell supports those claims with more than three quarters of parents thinking it is okay for children to have a cell phone by age 15 for safety reasons.
The Pew Research Center surveys show that the age of ownership for cell phones is getting younger every day. In 2004, only 18% of 12 year old kids carried a cell phone, while a similar survey done in 2009 shows that 58% of 12 year old kids now carry a cell phone.
Whether for safety or convenience, for many teens the primary mode of conversing with parents is by talking to them on their personal cell phone.
Texting is the form of communication that has grown the most for teens during the last four years. The data show that between 2006 and 2009 the percent of teens who use texting to contact friends on a daily basis has gone from 27% to 54%.
Teens learn responsibility through texting.
While most young people embrace the power of text messaging for anytime, anywhere private exchanges, almost half of teenagers reported regret over a text message they have sent. One concern raised is misunderstandings that can arise from trying to express oneself with 160 characters or less of text.
In today’s new world of technology spam is not just for e-mail. Over half of teenagers say that have received unwanted text messages on their cell phone with many describing this problem as the worst part of owning a cell phone.
In the next part of this series we will explore some of the concerns of cell phone use in schools and the negative aspects of cell phone use.
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