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The Youth Culture And Cell Phones

Apr 10, 2008
Cell phones are becoming to today's youth what rock and roll was to the youth in the 1960's. Approximately 80% of all teenagers have cell phones worldwide, and have developed their own language and social groups away from the prying eyes of their parents.

In Japan, teenagers are obsessed with their cell phones. Some experts estimate that 96% of all Japanese children will have cell phones by the time they reach high school. One study shows that these kids spent between 90 and 125 minutes every day on their phones, using them to read books, chat with friends, surf the Net, or listen to music.
Many experts suggest that these youngsters are using these cell phones for security, as the amount of usage went up with children that were having problems at home.

American children have been using cell phones to form friendships and social groups away from their families, feeling that these phones ensured them privacy that they would not otherwise have. While some children still talk to their parents, many more prefer to communicate with them through text messaging so that the children do not have to answer any questions that they do not want to. This also creates the problem of children misunderstanding their parent's mood because plain text messaging does not show the difference between sarcasm and anger. As cell phone use becomes even more widespread (some experts estimate that by 2010, 81% of Americans between the ages of 5 and 24 will own a cell phone), communication between parents and their kids may become even more impersonal.

Another problem with today's kids being obsessed with cell phones is the fact that some children admit to texting while they are driving. While some states have outlawed talking on a cell phone while being behind the wheel, it may be interesting to see how the government deals with the act of sending messages while driving. After all, the driver can keep the phone out of sight as he text messages.

A serious issue concerning youth and cell phones came to light in a survey of college students. Of 305 of these students, 40% of cell phone users admitted that they walked somewhere after dark that they would have never went before they had their cell phones. of these students admitted that they felt safer and more secure because of these devices. In reality, experts agree that these students are more vulnerable because they are less likely to be paying attention to their surroundings as many of these cell phones users also admitted into walking in front of traffic while talking.

Other countries are also reporting other serious issues related to young people and cell phone use. In Japan, young women had visited a dating site and several had unwanted sexual relations with the men that contacted them. In Great Britain, some children were reporting being bullied over their cell phones.

As more young people have access to cell phones, they may have to learn that as with everything in life there is a price to pay. Hopefully for some of these kids, the price is not too high.
About the Author
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