How much does teenagers use their cell phones these days and how much are they connected online during a day by their phones! To much time if you ask me! But for the younger generations it is absolutely normal and also necessary! And the questions that arise in my mind are: Is this a new way to be more social or, do the technology really make them unsocial? And how will this constant connection affect them?
My daughter who is fifteen years old has an android cell-phone which means that she is constantly connected to Internet and of course Face Book. To be around her means that you have to listen to constant "beeps" and sounds from the cell when all her 1000 friends update their status. It makes me really stressed. But that is me! For her, this is vital and necessary! She does not need constant updates from 1000 friends but the updates from her close friends are very important to her.
Most teenagers in my daughter’s age use the cell-phone as a constant companion! It is like the cell-phone has become an extension to their body. Whenever I see my daughter I see her cell-phone! It is sort of glued to her: she sleeps with her cell-phone on the pillow, she eats with her cell-phone near by, either in her bra or in a pocket, she brings the cell phone to the bathroom, have it visible when taking a shower, and the other day I was stunned to see that the cell-phone was in fact in her hand under her dinner plate and over a soup pan when she served herself some hot soup!
But that is my point of view, for me to be so close to my cell phone all the time would be a horror! But what about the generation who has grown up with Internet and cell-phones? For them it is the opposite! They get stressed when they are disconnected! They can’t imagine a reality where they can’t be reachable on all hours. And most of them haven’t experienced a life without the cell-phone. To be offline or don’t have a cell-phone is like they are totally isolated or dead. They can’t communicate and are not updated on the latest news which is the same as being nobody. And when they get online after a longer disconnect they are so stressed out, because they have so much catching up to do!
So, how is this affecting the new generation which has been born with the possibility to stay connected to Internet all the time? I see them as guinea pigs! Because nobody knows how this will affect humans in the long run. There is no research done yet on long term side affects on humans who are constant reachable and connected to others. When I try to talk about it with my daughter she says; everybody is online all the time! My answer to that usually is; that everybody is online all the time doesn’t mean it is healthy or good for you! When I grew up, it was totally accepted to smoke, everybody did smoke, and now look how healthy that was! You can imagine how a remark like that is received by a teenager! (Stone age ideas!)
Take a lock at a group of teenager when they socialize or sit in a group in a cafe or when they wait for a train. Every one of them has constant supervision on their cell-phone. If they don’t read from the screen or texting, they play with the cell, swing and turn it around, open and close the lid and they do this while they communicate with the ones that are present in reality! Amazing capacity! And nobody seems to be annoyed over the fact that the others are paying attention to their cell phones instead of being totally present.
Sometimes I wonder if there is any time at all when they turn their cell phone off and are totally present in reality. There seems to be no codes amongst teens about when the cell isn’t wanted or when it isn’t OK to use it. At least there seems to be no such codes for teenagers 12-15 years old. During school time the phones are not allowed but that rule is set by adults, not teenagers. I think it comes with age since that was the case with my husband’s older children.
Young people talk about cell-phones as devices. The phone isn’t only for communication, it is also a clock, a music player, a camera, Internet, and it is a great and vital part of their life!
There are two questions that arise from the new way of using cell-phones! And there isn’t possible to answer none of them yet because there isn’t any long term research done in this field.
1. The first is the issue of stress from this constant connection to other people, and lack of privacy.
2. And then there is the question whether this new way of being online is going to make them more present in the virtual world at the expense at the real world?
A study from Gothenburg University states that research points in two directions. One is that human in our new technical society will create a new kind of humans “the new nomads” who will use the cell-phone as a nomadic object, like a “moving force” that makes people more mobile. This new technology will encourage people to be more mobile and spend more time outside their homes. The study describe teenager as the new urban nomads that once again conquer the public rooms, theatres, cinemas, operas and so on, and they can do that by bringing their phone with them.
Another hypothesis is that the development has made a more stationary society and those who believe this draw similarity from the research that was done of people’s habits of watching TV. That research states that we became more stationary than before TV came and that people that spend much time in front of the TV spends very little time in the public rooms or out of their homes. To spend much time online would meen that less time is spent in the real world. This hypotesis suggest that we maybe will be satisfied with the virtual world and stay at home.
My personal opinion and conclusion!
My personal opinion is that teenager is much more social with the aid of their cell phones than older generations. No one under the age of 25 years knows what a telephone-table is! But I remember them clearly! It was the table where the stationary phone stood and a spot where I spent many hours. And I also remember those many hours and days when I was forced to stay at home because I waited for that special person to call! When the phone finally rang I leaped towards the phone in a hurry, trying to reach it before my parents answered! You see, I had a strange idea that it would have been so embarrassing for both parts, the boy that rang would then understand that I had parents??? and my parents would understand that I had a boyfriend???. Both very embarrassing and unwanted! (How does the brain work during those teenage years?)
But now they don’t even have to think that way, they can happily decide to be available instead of decide to be on fixed dates and locations. The mobile phone allows them to make appointments without them being tied to a place which gives them more flexibility and makes it easier to meet face to face.
My conclusion is that teenager’s addiction to cell-phones makes them both more social and unsocial. The new technology has changed the way they connect with people compared to former generations. They are more social and can be mobile but this also forced them to be multitasking which makes them fragmented and not totally present which makes them unsociable.
My big concern is what this constant online connection, and the stress that comes with it, will do to their minds and to their brains in the long run. And since they are always reachable they will not be able to enjoy solitude and silence like earlier generations have been able to do. Nowadays it is hard to find silent places and places where you are totally shield from society. If you bring your cell phone to those rare silent places, in the woods or at sea, you will not be able to experience that special feeling of solitude and total silence from the daily noise that constantly surrounds us. No one knows how this use affects humans. We will just wait and see.
syed wahaj ali from karachi on December 21, 2019:
i loved your article.
Meghal from Delhi on June 13, 2019:
i loved your article. but me , myself is a teenager. even when i dont want to use my phone we at times are subjected to peer pressure. these days its the only way where we are able to connect with out friends.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on November 06, 2016:
You are so right; there should always be a balance in use of technology, as in many things in our modern world. Thanks for reading and for your view on this topic.
Sakina Nasir from Kuwait on September 18, 2016:
Nice hub...very well expressed. I do believe that using technology is a good thing but overusing isn't. I myself have passed the teenage stage this year...and staying connected with friends online is necessary but living in the reality is essential too. Using a mobile phone continuously isn't good...we should always be in touch with reality and the real world. There should always be a balance...that's what I think.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on February 16, 2014:
Hi Telecoman, Thanks for sharing your view on this subject and lets hope that we can use technology in the future, and not letting technology run our lives.
Telcoman from United States on September 18, 2013:
I was also able to observe my daughter and my neighbors kids after they got their smart phones virtually lose their personalities and get sucked into the 3" world of social media and texting. Immediately after this, they tried to spend every spare minute updating their Facebook pages and texting each other (even when sitting next to each other!). They also quickly lost their ability to verbally communicate and completely lost their appreciation of Nature and going on hikes as we always did over the years. This is really scary if it represents what happens to most kids, which I am afraid is exactly the normal occurrence.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on July 27, 2013:
DF, thanks for adding your view in this subject, and I think you are right, although it is a " new" way of being social.
DF on July 27, 2013:
I think more social
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on June 25, 2013:
Hi tena, with stationary phone I mean a phone that always is connected to a socket with a wire. In my youth there were no other phones and the wireless phones was not yet invented. You seem to have all the symptoms of being addicted to cell phones but you are also social with your friends:) I hope you have a wonderful summer camp. Thanks for the comment
tena on May 02, 2013:
What is a stationary? I'm 14 and I do not think I'm addicted to my cell it helps me talk to my friends .though if I am away from my cell for more than ten minutes I start to go into panic mode and search for the closest electronic device I can find. I actually do not let any one touch my phone .when at lunch I'm always on my cell texting friends its what I do I can not last a day without my cell.summer camp is always interesting though
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on April 20, 2013:
Telecoman, Yes, you are right! The phone service providers make big profits from our new habits and "need" for constant communications. It can be very expensive for families and it is hard to monitor the costs in some cases. Thanks for adding you view, it is important when it comes to cell phone addiction!
Telcoman from United States on April 02, 2013:
They have been trained by the phone service providers along with the media that it is the "cool" thing to do and that all communication should only be done via text and Facebook sites. Why? You guessed it, because the more conversing that is done via text, Facebook, and other social media, the more bandwidth usage profits are being generated for the providers. Everytime someone updates on Facebook, it goes out to the entire list of friends, which generates airtime and revenue. Sorry that we are turning your kids (and some parents) into Zombies, but we really enjoy the profits!! (from an AT&T employee)
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 03, 2013:
Hi imasha and thanks for the comment! As you say, technology can give as many advantages. Maybe there are a steep learning curve for humans and maybe coming generation will know how to deal with the negative side of it all.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 03, 2013:
Hi alphagirl, I agree, misuse ore a disrespectful behavior can a big problem. As parents we must find the way to deal with problems like those you describe. Thanks for sharing your view about cell phones and teenagers.
imasha on February 23, 2013:
my candid opinion about it is if used correctly will benefit every one
Mae Williams from USA on February 10, 2013:
Thank for stopping by everyone.. I think this culture of technology is creating an unstable environment. Kids do not look us in the eye because they are glued to the phone. Disrespectful. I have been telling my high school freshman, " if you can't say it to someone's face and look them in the eye, DO NOT text it, Facebook it or Snap chat it. I bad for those who have kids that have been bullied on social media. Hang in there. WE have taken the phone away and social privileges because of the darn phone.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on February 10, 2013:
Hi CarNoobz! I know what you talk about and I must admit that me and my husband do the same:) Technology is meant to be used and when it is accessible it is so easy to just use it! Thanks for the vote and for the comment!
CarNoobz from USA on February 04, 2013:
Such a great question! (And not just about teens)
My wife is on her iPhone and laptop around the clock. We even text each other...in our own house! =D
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on June 09, 2012:
Hi Douglas! I am sorry to hear about your experience with cellphones. There is no way to defending your child from that type of bullying online once it has started. It is sad to hear that this happen to children. Since the use of cellphones caused these severe problems I think you did the right thing and I am glad that everything worked out fine for your daughter afterwards. That is the most important thing and the children have plenty of time to have a cellphone later in life! Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience with teens and cellphones,
Douglas on June 03, 2012:
Good Job for helping bringing this to light. I went from letting my 4 kids 12,11 and twins at 9, con me into smartphones. As a Sgt in the Military I thought this would be a great way to connect with the kids while on tour. I was wrong. The phones led to depression, kids gosiping about each other at school. Then my oldest was dropped from "the social circle" at school when I wouldn't get an iphone for her after she just got a Blackberry. Very Rarely did I get a texted or even a call from them even though we had an ATT tower in Iraq on base so it was like local calling. (this is why I will allways be on ATT despite Verizon being better in the US) anyway when my last of 6 tours was over and I got home, before hugging the kids I asked for everyones cell phone went out side and disassembled then in the most unrespectfull way. My kids had all A's in school until the cell phones they were C's and Mostly D's when I returned after 16months.(I do understand in part because I was deployed) But when a child is called ugly on a social site it seems that childrens animal instincts kick in, then like a pack of wolves those 400 hundred friends she had started to chew my Daughter up. She seen everytime someone commented about her. When one of her friends tried to "electronically" take up for her they to get tramped on online. Any got kids "Dumb Phones" with talk and text only with pic text blocked. Set use times. Grades are way up Daughters are popular at school again and other parents followed suit in my small town. Life is better now. My advice for others, it is hard to go backwards however, it is possible. It took about 3 months to get back to normal "Social Life" at home is priority before the outside world. Regards, Sgt First Class, 1 calv, 60th reg, 2nd Armored Div SgtFC Doug.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on May 19, 2012:
Hi pghsteelergal, Yes, that is definitely one side of it and I believe many kids and teens use the technology way to much. Many teens in Sweden are engaged in sports and exercise a lot but if they don't, it can make them lazy. Thank you so much for your thoughts on this and for reading!
pghsteelergal on May 18, 2012:
kids today do not know how inner-react socially in a crowd.... when it comes time for them to fit in the real busines world, they will not be able to adjust.... too much technology.... it makes them lazy, they don't get enough exercise except for their fingers while texting.... just sayin....
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on May 18, 2012:
Hi somebody! Yes, you said it and maybe you are right! Technology is made for humans and it seems to fill a need in many people. The difficult part is to use technology with moderation and use it for our benefit.
Thanks for reading and for leaving a comment!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on May 18, 2012:
Nobody! I also think it is important to show good behaviour when it comes to texting. And to text to one friend if you both are in a group is nothing else than bad manners and I know that I would hate it too if it happened to me! We all need to think about how we behave and sadly it is not only teens that behave this way! Thank you so much for your comment!
sombody on May 16, 2012:
i think teenagers are out of there mind for spending to much time on the computer and other technology yeah i said it thats right uhu yup i said it
Nobody on May 16, 2012:
i hate teenager that text to someone when they are right next to each other. i'm a teenager 16 i text but not like crazy people and its not just teenagers that do that it is also middle age and old people.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on May 16, 2012:
Hi Stephanie, I know what you mean, and I experience the same with my teenager. It seems like they are with each other while they are all texting with others, I don't know how they can keep it up, it is multitasking on high level and I don't like it either. I constantly tell my daughter to stop texting while we do something as a family because I want to spend time with her, not her cellphone! It is important that they get the chance to enjoy silence and the beauty of nature without being disturbed all the time and it is worth a little nagging. Thanks for your comment Stephanie, and we just have to keep on trying,
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on May 16, 2012:
Hi veteran teacher! It is a different time and totally new habits among teenagers with this new technology. Teachers do a fantastic job today and it must be very hard to get through everything that goes on in a teenager´s world. I value your opinion very much and I think part of the problem is that there are two sides of this new use of technology, one good and one bad , and it is difficult to find the middle way in this new Era. Maybe next generation will learn and know better! Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it
Stephanie Henkel from USA on May 16, 2012:
My 17 year old granddaughter is one of the teens addicted to her cell phone. It is never out of her hand or her pocket, and she is constantly sending or receiving texts. I worry that she is never "with" the people she is with physically, and that she is missing out on the joys of life like reading, enjoying nature and forging real relationships with her family because she is sending inane texts back and forth to her friends. It sure stresses me out to be around her!
veteran teacher on May 14, 2012:
High school teacher here. Students are losing attention-span, concentration, and critical thinking ability. Not only do they not know what to do with themselves without phones, if the phones are off, all they know how to do is talk. Teachers spend a lot of time teaching life and social skills that either used to be taught in the home or used to be picked up naturally, through growing up
Constant use of phones is part of the infamous "attachment parenting" that says one must be in touch with one's child at all times and leads to an unhealthy dependence. I know my opinion will not be popular, but other teachers (the vets) will tell you of the negative changes they've seen since cell phones and texting have become "necessary" to keep from "feeling dead."
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on April 13, 2012:
Hi anusujith, and thank you so much for reading and for the comment!
Anoop Aravind A from Nilambur, Kerala, India on April 12, 2012:
hi madam, you are discussing a very good topic.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on April 02, 2012:
Hi poowool15, I know what you mean and I receive that look from my daughter also! The other day when I and my daughter went shopping she constantly sent messages on her phone and it was really annoying since I needed her help with what to choose. As you say, they have many conversations going on at the same time and I am amazed over their skill on sending textmessages while they are walking!
What a great idea to have a cabin where you can experience nature and silence. Everyone should have place like that and get a chance to recharge the batteries.
Maybe the worst problem with this constant connection is that our brain can never relax and just enjoy the silence.
Thank you so much for this comment, I appreciate it!
poowool5 from here in my house on March 28, 2012:
Thanks Tina, what I think is also sad is when you can't penetrate their cyber-world with a simple friendly comment ("How was your day?" "Huh?" glazed vacant look because they are mentally engaged in several electronic conversations, but not with you!).
We -- for other reasons too -- finally took the drastic step of buying a little lake cabin where there is no TV, no cell phone signal, no computers. Yay! Everyone has to "unplug from the matrix" as my husband puts it, and it does us all the world of good. The boys don't even grumble too much. Perhaps as you also point out, there is a bit of relief to escape the 24/7 world of social connectiveness!
Nice to "get to know you" too :)
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 28, 2012:
Hi poowool5, Thanks for this insightful comment! It is great to hear about how teenage boys use their phones too. And I agree with what you say here. I think they are less alone as you say, since they are connected to each other all the time through the phones. It is so easy to send a text or chat on Facebook and I notice that my daughter gets really impatient if a friend doesn't answer right back. They are certainly not used to wait for someone to call! It is a new way of living and since I use a smart phone myself I can understand that a phone makes their life so much easier. It is an interesting subject and I guess we haven't reach the full use of a smartphones yet. The possibilities are endless and the development in this area goes so fast!
Thanks for reading and for the great comment!
poowool5 from here in my house on March 27, 2012:
Great hub, thoughtforce. Lots to think about, and it will be fascinating to see how these new trends affect this generation in the future, social and cultural shifts etc.
I have two teenage boys (no cells stuffed in the bra here!) and I agree with some of your commenters that I personally find it really useful to stay in touch with them this way. They are so independent, I think I wouldn't know where they are or what they were doing without the cell connection, but they are very good about letting me know where they are, whether thye'll be home for dinner etc etc.
yes, they are pretty much glued to them, and I agree that it is sad that they do not know the pleasure of complete solitude and peaceful quiet. They probably never will. These habits are already ingrained in them.
As for the fear of being alone or left out, I think cell phones have enhanced this (my son says his friends text him all the time " who are you with and what are you doing?") but I also think this is a typical preoccupation with teens through the ages...the need to be with each other and the fear of social exclusion.
More social or anti-social? It is a conundrum and a really interesting question. I have no answers but I think you explore it well. It is such a rapidly changing world, as you say, we'll have to wait and see!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on January 18, 2012:
Hi Melissa, Yes that will solve the problem with addiction! At least for the moment. But for many of us that is not a real option anymore. I am not saying that children wouldn't survive or something like that without a cellphone, I see it more as if we should take away modern technology. Just as if we should solve the problem with Internet by taking away the Internet. It is partly the same problem! The technology is already here and we use it. Some use technology more and some less. We must in some way find a way to live with the technology and our kids are a part of that.
To me it is a new era, a change, that can be compared with the time when TV first became more usual.
Thank you so much for your thoughts, there are no right or wrong and we must do what we think is the best. I know there are many parents who share your view on this.
Melissa on January 16, 2012:
I have a great way to solve the problem. DONT buy your kids smart phones. They don't need to be on the Internet when ever and where ever they are. Its just gonna lead to trouble. And don't even get me started on the monthly bill 30 dollars extra per phone for the data plan that would mean Id be payind around 130 extra a month. My husband has one but his is a priority he needs it for work but my kids will survive.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on January 16, 2012:
Kelleyward, There is the real conflict and I feel the same as you! I like my smartphone and find it very useful. I don't see how we ever could go back to just having a phone for calls, there is only one way and that is forward with more ways of using the phone. Once you got one and try it for a while, most of us are more or less an addict. The long term effects will show later. I wish we knew now, but we don't!
I am very concerned for young people who will use these phones during so many years.
Thanks for your thoughts on this, I know we are many with the same questions!
I appreciate your comment,
kelleyward on January 16, 2012:
This hub is very interesting. I also agree and sometimes worry about the addictive nature of cell phones and texting. I am now an avid user myself and find it hard to put it down or go without. Not sure what the long term consequences are going to be. Thanks for sharing. Very informative!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on January 15, 2012:
Hi Midasfx, that sounds just awful, neck problem from texting!! If a child use their cellphone that much it is really a big problem.
Yes, I do agree that we must set some limits as parents, especially with small children. Children at the age of eight year can not handle unlimited freedom in any area and need boundaries. And maybe I should have set tighter limits also to my teen! When I wrote this hub I was a bit concerned over the amount of text messages she could send during a month. Looking back, I can see that it was a learning period for us as parents as well as for her as a teenager. We did set a limit when we saw that it was getting out of control and she learned how to handle it after a few months. Nowadays, we do not have any problems in that direction and she is also very good at handle her own money. My point is that we also must let them try and make some mistakes in order to learn. They need to take responsibilities and live with limits even about those things in life that are just fun.
The right age for children to have a phone is something I leave to each parent to decide since all kids are different. Some can handle it early and some can not.
I appreciate your view on this and it is interesting to discuss these things. This use of technology as a tool to be social is new and we do not have all the answers.
Thank you so much for reading and take the time to leave a comment,
Midasfx on January 13, 2012:
I was just watching " The Doctors" ( its a daytime tv show ) where they took an x-ray of a 16yr old girls spine. She was a text-a-holic and now her upper spine has no curvature because her neck was always bent down while texting.
So on your point about this not being healthy, that right there is a long term side effect of texting. If your kids are starting to complain about chronic neck pain... its because of the damn cellphones!
As I am not a parent, I am strongly biased on how kids use their phones. I also believe that its not only the kids fault. Who lets them use the phone so much? Parents don't have any control over their children anymore?
Unlimited data / text plans are basically giving your kid the freedom to destroy their social skills, your wallet and everything our past generations worked so hard for. Look at it this way, Unlimited text is kinda like Unlimited food, like at a buffet. If you let your kids eat at a buffet every single day/night/weekends/ do you think they would be normal healthy kids? No reasonably good parent would allow their kids to live in a buffet with all the freedom of foods they want.
Kids should not have cellphones. Period. I only wish I could scold the parent who gives their 8 year old child a cell phone.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on January 09, 2012:
Hi jennjenn519, Yes, unlimited texting plans are a must have! 15,000 text messages!! That is almost unbelievable, how is it possible? My daughter has 6,000 free texts messages a month and I guess she receive about the same amount. But most of them are very short, otherwise there wouldn't be enough time during a day:))
Thanks for sharing your reality in this topic and it shows that we are many parents that observe the same,
jennjenn519 from Cocoa, Fl on January 09, 2012:
You have just described my 16 year old daughter to a tea. She sends and receives, on average, 15,000 text messages a month. Where does all that time come from? Thank goodness for unlimited texting plans!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on November 30, 2011:
jeyyaramd, you have a great point there, It is difference between being connected with others and to be connected! I was on a conference yesterday and noticed how so many of the attendants in every pause pulled up their cellphone to see if something had happened! Unbelievable! As you say; they can not all be CEO´s! How many of us needs to be constantly reachable? Our teenagers will continue to be addicted as long as grown ups are I guess. I agree, we really should spend more time in nature without technology. Humans are very clever but it seems that we invent so great technology that suit us too good! Thanks for your great comment and for reading, I appreciate your visit!
jeyaramd from Mississauga, Ontario on November 28, 2011:
Thank you for sharing. Cell phones have become so much part of our lives that we forget that life can actually exist without it. Its good to be connected to people especially when we are so busy. However, there is only a certain number of people that we can be realistically connected to on constructive level via facebook or cell phone. Sometimes it may not be that we are trying to connect with others, but we are just trying to stay connected.
That is why I respect organizations that promote less phone usage for business purposes. Phone usage to the point that you are constantly worried about is really sad. It can be considered as a form of addiction. Of course, if you are the CEO of an organization or a high profile media person then maybe you have to and are expected to be on the constant connection field. But, seriously, how connected do you really need to be when you are in your teens. We really need to take our children out to the cottage more often without any technology access so they can learn to be in the present moment with themselves and with those that love them.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on November 16, 2011:
You say many true points here and the way some people uses the cell phones can be annoying. Maybe it is because the one who uses phones to bully someone or misbehave in any way, would do that even if they didn't have a phone! To be interactive on a phone should be no different from socializing in real life but some people thinks it is easier to behave bad behind a phone. We must use our social skills no matter how we interact with each other. But it is a new way and we have to learn to make the best of cell phones.
Thanks for reading and take the time to leave a comment,
SanXuary on November 15, 2011:
I have seen way to many problems with cell phones. I have employers who expect me to shell out a hundred dollars a month to be contactable every minute. Employees who live on them and people with no social skills. When the phone rings it takes priority over the person standing in front of you. Many of these phone relations are not any true relationship at all. Lazy kids getting lazier in terms of making any effort to actually socialize. I have a dating rule, you get 2 minutes for every mile you live from me. Other wise make the effort to actually see me or hang up. There are stories of sexting, bullying and people who lose all their friends when their phone is shut off. All three are pretty pathetic and constitute only one part of communication and social skills needed to be a real person.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on November 10, 2011:
Hi alphagirl! I agree that 13 years old is a bit early for a phone like that. They need to be able to take responsibility on how to use the phone and to handle it with care. It is easy to become totally obsessed with these phones since they are so fun! It is like having a friend that helps you with almost everything:)
I have also experienced the texting inside the house but that is so wrong! We need to speak and meet face to face as a family and value our time together. Texting inside the house is definitely a misuse of the technology. It is great to know how other parents think about this and it is also a relief to get support from parents like you! Thanks for your comment
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on November 10, 2011:
Safetydad! Yes it is something new that never has been done before:) As you say, since all happens so quick we sort of run afterwards and try to fix things. One of the worst is cyber bullying that can be so nasty and also difficult to prevent and control. I guess we learn as we go along and hopefully will the next generation be better prepared than we are, at least on this subject:)
Thanks for your insightful thoughts on this subject. You must have a great and interesting work!
Mae Williams from USA on November 09, 2011:
I have a 13 year old and refuse to buy her a iphone or android. she wants one.LOL he has a simple phone and can text. I am with you when it come to the generational cell phone appendages. The need to communicate with the cell phone has destroyed our ability to speak face to face. I like you am in a quandry. I am guilty of heavy cell phone use. I use an iphone. The one thing I do is make my kids look at me when i speak to them. I also make them look at me when they want to speak to me. They have tried texting me from their bedrooms to the kitchen. I ignore them and told them it is not allowed. It is scary to think that we are all walking cell phone appendages. A necessary evil. Good luck. You are not alone on this one!
safetydad from Tucson, AZ on November 09, 2011:
Hi Back! I agree .. you make a great point about technology -- especially the newest variations being something different than any previous generation. No doubt. I am a internet safety consultant and speak to mostly grade school and Jr. High aged kids and parents about some of the issues.. cyberbullying being a big one right now. It's all changing so quickly.. and we're the first generation of parents to be tasked with dealing with this stuff.
Since so many of our parenting skills were learned by what our parents did, our kids will use what we do and apply to their kids! talk about pressure! :)
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on November 09, 2011:
Hi safetydad! Thanks for your thoughts on this and it makes sense. I guess it all depends on how you look at the use of phones and every family must set up their own rules. Since I didn't set up any rules for how to use the phone other than financial limits this isn't an issue in my family. It also depends on the age of the child. For a teenager at the age of 15-16 years I think there are better ways than to take the phone away from them. But again, that depends on the child and the family.
I see the use of phones as a gadget that is used for communication and connection with friends.
But this new way of using phones gives us the opportunity to live and behave in a totally new way than the generations before. And this new way to be social and reachable affects us more than we normally think of. I don't say that it is bad, because I can see the big benefits with this new way of living. It really is interesting things to think about!
Thanks for your comment
safetydad from Tucson, AZ on November 08, 2011:
I think it really depends on what you are disciplining them for.. if they are misusing the technology or breaking the rules you set for it's use, weather it be a phone or a computer... it makes sense to take it away. Just like taking the car away if they speed.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on October 28, 2011:
Hi Debmeg, and thank you for reading and take the time to leave a comment! It is interesting that you mention it. I know that many parents use the phone as threats to force the children to behave, and every parent resolve their problems in their own way and as they see fit. I wouldn't dream of judging other parents since I know how difficult it is to be to be a parent to a teenager. But personally, I would never take the phone from my daughter to force her to behave. I know that there are many that disagree with me! But I do not see my daughter´s phone as a toy or as something unnecessary. I know that she would survive and manage without one, but I also know how important her phone is for her, and how important it is for her social life. So, therefore I would choose some other way if I would have to force her to behave. In her case, it would be much better to cut off her montly allowance! Thanks for your comment,
Debmeg1 on October 27, 2011:
The only good thing about your teenage daughter having a phone is if they misbehave and you threaten to take it away from them they will behave.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on October 23, 2011:
Hi caitlin! It is good to hear that there are some teenagers that uses their mobile phones with moderation. It can be too much, and a meeting face to face should always be prioritized before texting! Thank you, for reading and for your comment
caitlin on October 21, 2011:
I totally agree with your article it was very interesting i am 15 and i hardly ever use my phone it does very much frustrate me when i am with my friends and they are constantly on their phone not listening to what i am saying then they are like huh?
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on August 13, 2011:
Yes alphagirl, time is a good friend when it comes to teens:)
Mae Williams from USA on August 11, 2011:
Ok Only time will tell. LOL
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on August 11, 2011:
Hi alphgirl! I know what you mean about girls in that age being obsessed:) It can be so annoying. But from observing my daughter I can comfort you a bit by telling that it will be better at the age of fifteen. I now feel that she use her phone and also face book in a much calmer way than 6 months ago. Or is it maybe that I have become used to see her use it! I don't know, maybe a little of both:)
It is good to resist their wishes for a while until we as parents feel that it is ok. But it takes a bit of strength as a parent and I admire you for hanging in there!
Thanks for sharing your view alphagirl,
Mae Williams from USA on August 10, 2011:
I have a 13 year old who is what I call obessesed with the latest phone gadgetry. She has spent her own money from baby sitting to upgrade her phone. She has asked for an Iphone...but we refuse to buy one. We refuse to pay for a data package. The cell phones are a curse. It has made all of us less In person social. We text cause its easier. Our kids do everything by text. I will not let my kids have a face book page because there is just too much out there and Its out of control. The subject of cell phones sets me on fire. Its controlling our lives...just as blogging and facebook..LOL
thx for sharing your thoughts...
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on July 01, 2011:
KidsPartyFavors, I can imagine that! For a child at the age of ten a cell phone must be very desirable. And it is pretty common that children around that age have one of their one.
Thanks for your visit!
KidsPartyFavors on June 29, 2011:
Absolutely! my 10 year old child requested me to have his own cellphone!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on June 01, 2011:
Richard83, yes technology is both good and bad! You are spot on about the accidents, texting is so distracting and it can´t be done at the same time as other things!
I hope for the young generations sake that the change is good for them also in the long run and it is sort of interesting to watch because it is a hugh change in just 40 years! I am delighted to meet you and for your visit here!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on June 01, 2011:
CreateSquidoo, Nice to meet you! Yes, I can imagine how hard it would be for teenager to be without a phone! In fact, we have all been used to have them. I must admit that I feel a bit lost if I forget my phone at home one day:)) Thanks for your visit and your comment!
Richard83 from West Virginia on June 01, 2011:
With all this new technology, our kids have changed. They can reach anyone in the world within seconds, which is scary if I must say. I see 8 year olds with cell phones. It is the new trend. Another reason we see vehicle accidents due to texting. Very good work.
CreateSquidoo on May 31, 2011:
very good hub! This is so true. Teenagers can’t live without cellphones these days, it allows them to have more privacy and provide a good entertainment to them.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on April 13, 2011:
Ryan-Palmsy, Good to hear that! And many teenagers are just like you and use their mobile phone with moderation and don’t have an addictive behaviour. But it is easy to become addicted because, as you say, it is a new world that opens with the aid of mobile phones. And for younger kids there must be even more exciting. We do not know how it will affect younger kids either, if they become addicted for a longer time or not! But it is a shame, at that age they have so many other important things to discover.
Thanks for sharing your insight on this topic and for the "great"! Tina
Ryan Palmer from In a Galaxy far, far away on April 13, 2011:
As a teenager, I like to think I'm somewhat in touch with technology. My mobile Phone is usually nearby me at all times, however I don't depend on it. I've seen lots of people my age who do depend on their phones though, and it's a little sad to see, unfortunately though kids are getting younger and younger when using phones, I've seen children as young as 7 who've been taken in by the world of Mobile Phones. Shame, but great hub!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on April 06, 2011:
Hi Caroline, how nice it is to see you. Oh, you have so much to look forward too and also many decisions to make:) Yes the bathroom; I was horrified too!
It is a new way to live and socialize and we don’t know how it will effect them in the long run. Probably it will all turn out just fine, but it sure is a new era!
As parents we must try as you do even if it is an uneven battle.
Thanks for your visit and good luck! Tina
Caroline Paulison Andrew from Chicago, IL on April 05, 2011:
Great hub! I have 3 children, pre-teen and teen. The 8th grader is addicted to her phone. I was horrified when I first realized it went into the bathroom with her. I agree that the cell phones are creating teens who are more social and overly connected.
My big concern is that this is a generation that isn't learning how to be social in person. In fact, in person, they all come across as pretty rude, often texting in the middle of conversations and ignoring the people with them. We are currently working really hard with our 13yo about manners but that phone makes things so difficult!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on April 02, 2011:
You are so right Tina. Kids don’t need a cell phone as they need clothes and food, it is up to the parents to decide whether they are going to have one or not. And if the parents didn’t give them a cell phone, there wouldn’t be any addiction! I so agree with you there.
But to be a teenager without a cell phone here where we live would be very difficult for the teenager and it would also be seen as very odd. One can have a cell phone without it being too expensive so every family usually has one each. It is very common for kids 7-8 years old to have a cell phone so if a teenager hasn’t got one it would be seen as very strange. In some way we have all become accustomed to kids having one and personally I don’t even question that they need one! Not to stay a live but for social matters. The only thing I demand is that she will keep in the expense limit that we agreed on and that she will do her chores around the house. The same moment she gets a job I will stop paying for it, but with the big unemployment among young people I am afraid it will be for a while yet!
That is how technology affects us. We create a need when we use the technology and in some way we become slaves under the technology. That is why one can ask if it is us who rule the technology or the opposite! I am afraid I am an addict too and as you say I pay for my addiction:) I keep my cell in close reach at all hours and I use it as an alarm clock, a calendar, a camera and so on. It is easy to create a need and kids do what we do but in their own way. Maybe I should have called this hub; “grown ups and their cell phones, are we grown ups making teenagers sociable or unsociable” instead, since it is us as parents who create the need for our kids.
This is the great thing with hubpages, there are always many sides to every topic and your comment has really made me think in a new way! I am so grateful that you returned to this hub! And watch out, I suspect you will be an addict too:) Tina
Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on April 02, 2011:
Yeah, but YOU are paying the bill for your cell phone. I think if a kid thinks he needs one and is old enough for a cell phone then he should get a track phone and earn the money to pay for the min. Even if it is doing chores around the house.
These kids get everything handed to them. Most do not have any idea what it is to work for what you want.
Parents are responsible to pay for what their child NEEDS not for what they want. Is all I am saying
I have one but we do not get cell service too many places or even at home where I live. I do not even remember to take it with me when I go out. LOL
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on April 02, 2011:
Hi Granny´s House, I know what you mean, I didn´t need them either when I was young and as you say; we did well too! But I must say that cell phones makes my life more easy and I would have a hard time trying to live without one now.
Thanks for your view and your great comment! Tina
Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on March 31, 2011:
Cell phones were not a necessity for kids when mine were at home, but if they HAD to have one, they would have had a paper route or babysitting job to pay for a track phone. I would not had got it for them just because everyone else has one. Cell phones are accessories not a necessity! We did not NEED them when we were kids!. We all made it
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 24, 2011:
Cassell, You have a good point there! It takes a bit of conversation to make sure you and your child agree on the terms of cellphone use. Otherwise it can be very expensive.
As you say, they need to learn how to handle money! Thanks for your interesting comment! Tina
Cassell on March 23, 2011:
I think parents need to just actually spend the time getting to know their child and that includes their cell phone usage in general. I’ve had many conversations with my daughter regarding her cell phone and its bill since it something she and I take seriously – especially since we take turns paying for the usage. I could only afford to do this with Tracfone since the prepaid company’s aircards are so inexpensive and it gives me daughter a chance to manage both her money and her minutes – she takes her allowance and is able to buy 200 minutes of service $20. It’s important to me to give her responsibility and Tracfone is the company to do it.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 18, 2011:
Mrs.JB, Yes I know what you mean! A hammer can be very useful now and then. Unfortunately my daughter is too good at damage the cell without a hammer:) Thanks for reading and your comment! Tina
Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on March 18, 2011:
LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THIS HUB!!!!! Cell phones in this house go off all hours of the day. One day it will be just me, the cell and a hammer!!!! You made my day with this hub.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 13, 2011:
Alistar Packer, that is absolutely dreadful, how are they ever going to manage on their own in the real world! But in this case I don’t know if it is the boy or the mother that is to blame, sometimes one must stop to treat them as small children! Thanks for this amazing story!
Alastar Packer from North Carolina on March 13, 2011:
Not long ago I was in the DMV and noticed a mother was having to do all the talking for her 18 or 20 yr. old son . The clerk asked if he could not speak for himself...the mom's answer? No, he' s to busy...texting; and he was!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 13, 2011:
I see the adults with cell phones too and some seems to be addicted just like you describe! But hopefully they have some experience on life without a cell phone. Maybe it is due to different personalities, some like to communicate with others all the time and some don't need it as much. The interesting thing is; do we have the power over the technology or is it the other way around? Thanks for your interesting point of view on this topic and for your comment!
Pollyannalana from US on March 12, 2011:
It is not kids I see with cell phones, in fact the truth is I don't see kids anymore, is there any or are the hid away with a cell phone? It is adults that get me. You walk through a store of any type and who isn't on one, even old men! I wouldn't be surprised if the two women walking together, each on one, aren't talking to each other on one!
I carry one for safety and occasionally use it in case I forgot to bring a store bill and need a reminder and I guess I am not as shocked as I use to be that people think you are deaf and just talk about anything, but I have never liked phones, they steal my time and that is not how I want to spend it. Now they also suspect them of causing brain tumors?
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 10, 2011:
Hi exmoor, Yes, you are so right! There are teens that don’t use their cells this way or even have one. And for you and others like you this isn’t a problem at all! It is the addiction that can cause a problem. I haven’t met a teen without a cell-phone during the last years though but it is great to hear that there still are some! Cell-phones are great tools otherwise and make our life much easier and connect people and so on. So there isn’t only bad side to technology either! Thanks for a great comment that gave me a new perspective!
Exmoor on March 10, 2011:
Please everyone. Stop making generalizations. There are still a fair amount of teens who don't even have cell-phones, never mind carry them around all the time. I am one of those and my friends are all like me. Good article otherwise though.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 08, 2011:
Hi crystolite, that is so true, they do not know, because they are use to have them! It is part of their every day life. Thanks for your comment
Emma from Houston TX on March 08, 2011:
Interesting article and am adding to this piece of work that teenagers are really addicted to cell phones and thereby making it an idol to them without there knowledge and unsociable.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 06, 2011:
Hello David, you have a very good point! They are never really alone and if their phones aren’t constantly making sounds from received messages there friends are just one touch away. And they are use to this, too them it is normal. I hope that they will be able to enjoy real solitude when they grow up. A moment of solitude and silent can totally wipe away stress and is also essential if we are to listen inwards to ourselves. Thanks for your great input to this hub and I thankful for all your kind words!
David99999 on March 05, 2011:
Excellent essay! I recently read an article in The Guardian, the author of which shared some interesting observations. Probably because my, now, twenty-year-old son - a huge fan of video games - never appeared to be taken with internet social networks, I hadn't really given much thought to the topic of teenagers and the internet.
In his article, the reporter for The Guardian made observations which were similar to those you've made in this essay. He actually asserted that those under 25 years of age were deathly afraid of solitude. Being constantly linked - via Blackberry, or cellphone - to friends, who were constantly texting them - this generation is never totally alone.
You're correct. Every time one goes to a shopping mall, where I live, one sees people (Most always under 22) standing around - usually in groups - staring at their "phones." Personally - though, a sociable type - I, at times, treasure my solitude. There are times, in the evening, when I will actually sit in my living room with the lights off, in perfect silence. I'm not certain that people under 21 will ever be able to enjoy such an experience.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 05, 2011:
Katie, it is the same here, but they may have their phones with them but not have them turned on during school hours.
I think every parent support this rule, how else are they going to learn something? We can’t talk in our private phones to much during work either, so they better learn from start. You may be a strict parent, but somehow I believe that it is done with much love. There need to be rules, but I have learned to pick my fights! Thanks for adding your experience, it is always interesting to hear how other parents think. Take care.~ Tina
Katie McMurray from Ohio on March 05, 2011:
Schools here don't allow teens or tweens to have cell phones on their person, if they're caught with them they are confiscated. They have to keep them turned off on school property and in their lockers or out of sight in a pocket in their messenger bag. They are also not permitted at other school functions.
This may help curb the addiction and yet the addiction is real, I'm just a very strict parent with insanely consistent follow through. I only get this one window to do everything and teach everything I can. :) Katie
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 05, 2011:
Yes we could Martie:) I sure hope they will know the importance of real closeness and TLC in reality! Otherwise we have lost the battle totally! There is a great reason to continue to hug those teenagers, even if they dont like to admit that they want it!
Martie Coetser from South Africa on March 05, 2011:
Tina, I'm in full agreement with you. Do we make technology or do technology makes us? We may now realize the importance of giving and receiving TLC in reality, but the teenagers may not ever realize this, because they never experienced it. Bodies and souls will have to adapt... insufficiencies may lead to illnesses and all kinds of aberrations... we can discuss this issue for hours....
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 05, 2011:
Prasetio, it is always nice to see you here! How interesting I will check your hub out! I can imagine that it can be difficult in school and if they are going to learn something the cells have to be turned off. I do like cell phones myself, they are of great use in my daily life and makes it easy to connect with family members. And that we can be mobile is a great advantage from when I was young. So, you are so right, if we can use technology with common sense and with some codes how to behave it is a help to us.
Thank you for coming by and leave an insightful comment on this topic. Take care and I wish you a nice weekend too!
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 05, 2011:
Martie, Yes, isn’t it sad when you come to think of it. This constant chasing through time, and for what? Humans need attention and reassurance from others, it is what get us going, the way we develop. And I am not against the new technology, it help us to connect in our busy life in an easy way. But sometimes one can wonder if we make the technology or the technology make us! It is interesting to observe how human behavior change according to technology. We invent something and suddenly the use increase and become something totally different than how it was meant from the start. And slowly during a generation humans have change their behavior without even noticed it.
I love the way you describe your daily mission, to give attention to the people you meet. That is a great idea and I will do it more consciously from now on. It makes such a different to meet a person like that, who is present, and really see the person in front of him/her.
The picture, yes they are probably not friends. I didn’t have any better photo available and my daughter and her friends where out? But everywhere I look I see them, where there is a group of teenagers, they have their phones in their hand.
Thanks Martie for sharing your thought on this subject. and as always your comment show your big heart! You have given me a great suggestion; to go out in reality and give TLC! Take care and bye for now!
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 04, 2011:
Actutally I have write the same topic with you. You can check my hub with title, "Are The Children Need Cellular Phone?"
This also happen to my student. They brought cellular phone during the lesson. But I ask them to turn off their phone for a while. Times have changed, we live in modern era. Where everything related with technology. But with good communication we can give them useful advice about what should they do and what they shouldn't. Nice topic selection. Vote up! Have a nice weekend!
Love and peace,
Martie Coetser from South Africa on March 04, 2011:
Thoughtforce, you've touched a very relevant social issue here. I would really like to share my personal opinion with you -
I regard the fact that teenagers (and many adults too) are constantly via cell-phones connected to friends as the indisputable prove that we, humans, are gregarious ‘animals’. In reality today we are too busy ‘hunting for the pot’, we just don’t have the time to support and comfort each other the way we should be doing it. Children, including teenagers, are full-time busy to learn what they are taught and to prove (via exams) that they understand what they were taught. It’s like everyone for himself and the devil for all. We are like cows grazing against time – we’ve got to get a certain amount of ‘food’ in before the sun sets – no time for play – only graze-ruminate-rest. Herbivores can live like that. But humans are primates who need to be comforted, cuddled, groomed – they need personal attention and tender loving care. Via cell-phones (facebook) people give this TLC to each other. In FB it is clearly identifiable that it is all about I-I-me-me-need-your attention/support/empathy/sympathy/love.
HubPages is a glorified Facebook. Here we use our intellect, talents, knowledge [and wisdom] to entice others to give to us the attention and love we so desperately need. That is why we become addicted to the comments we receive. We, just like teenagers, NEED to be assured daily that we are unique and special and worthy of tender loving care. There is nothing wrong with this - nothing selfish or pathetic or tragic. This is how we are. We are affectionate beings.
Since I realised this I go out of my way to pay proper attention to every person I pass during the day. I look them in the eyes and ask: “How are YOU?” And I find and give them a compliment, and if their vibes allow be, I touch them on their hands or arms, and I even hug some of them.
And yes, nobody knows how this new virtual giving and receiving of TLC will affect humans in the long run. That photo – keep in mind that those teenagers ‘playing’ with their phones are strangers to each others and not friends.
But yes, I agree, they/we need codes. We must never stop to respect and love and support each other in reality. Give and receive TLC in reality BEFORE you move on to the next dimension in cyberspace.
Christina Lornemark (author) from Sweden on March 04, 2011:
Katie, you seems to be on the safe side with your teens not being addicted to cell phones:) There must be something wrong with the Swedish teens since they have no bags, no messenger bag or such, they have them in their pocket, in their hands or in their bra!
It is like you say; it is different personalities and it also depends on their friends. I am afraid that my daugther was addicted also before she had a smart phone since 6000 sms per month is included for 99 Skr(15 USD). And most of her friends have the same. But at least she pays half of it. Nothing in life is for free and she knows that! There are different ways to solve this, and every family have their own way. But facts remain, the phones are here to stay and the technology is changing our way of living.
Thanks for your great input to this hub, your thoughts are always valuable. And thanks for the up and all! Bye for now!
Katie McMurray from Ohio on March 04, 2011:
Your spot on the social aspect, very good food for thought.
Great points on teenagers and cell phones and are teenagers addicted to cell phones.
My daughters have both had cell phones for several years. My 14 year old doesn't know where hers is half the time or it's battery is dead, which frustrates me as I want her to have it so we can keep in touch in terms of picking her up, safety and the like.
My 12 year old always has hers in her messenger bag and calls me keeping me apprised of her schedule and activities. I love it.
Neither my tween or teen is addicted to their cell phones. My tween and teen have many friends that are and many that are not addicted to their cell phones. I think it's a matter of personality.
ALSO, I feel if teens should earn their own high end expensive phones themselves. I buy my kids basic phones and if they want a fancy phone they are expected to earn the money to buy it themselves.
I have a smart phone and they understand if they want one they have to pay the difference for both the phone and the service cost. Nothing in life is free and you have to earn enough to buy what you want in life. They've opted to save their money for other things.
I think if we teach you have to earn what you want it changes the whole addiction epidemic.
Great hub! Rated up and voted all that is good! :) Katie