Cellphone age of use

The Press reports:

Teenagers who prefer texting to talking have driven some parents to call for a minimum cellphone ownership age of 14.

“Parents are worried teenagers are losing the ability to properly communicate with eye-to-eye contact,” said Shanti Ravichandran, of Auckland’s Unitec, who has surveyed parents’ attitudes to teenage cellphone use.

She said the use of text language was “overpowering” among teenagers, with some even using it in school examinations.

Ravichandran, a Master of Computing graduate, said 52 per cent of the 115 parents or caregivers she surveyed felt there should be a minimum age of 14 for cellphone ownership.

How effing ridicolous. The last thing NZ needs is an age limit for using or owning a cellphone. What next – a state imposed curfew at 9 pm, or a mandatory go to bed at 9.30 pm?

Those 52% of parents are very welcome not to allow their kids to own a cellphone. But they shouldn’t try and decide for all families what is best. Decisions should be made by families, not the state.

I know many parents who find it incredibly reassuring that their kids have a cellphone, as they can contact them 24/7.

Parents’ main concerns about were text bullying, addiction to text messaging and the negative impact on communication skills, she said.

“Because it is so discreet, teenagers are doing it under their sheets and they’re not getting enough sleep.”

So the solution is to send in the Police to arrest them?

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