How the prevalence of cell phone has impacted on privacy issue of adolescents in the U.S.
In this paper, a research will be conduct to determine how the internet as an application on cell phones has influenced private lives of adolescents in the United States. The use of cell phones has continued to increase worldwide with United States reporting the highest percentage. The increased use is due to its increased availability in the market. Cell phones have moved from being used as communication gadgets to more significance that is commercial. Most of the functions that could only be performed by computers are now fitted in a cell phone, making it more of a necessity.
Previously, owning a cell phone was reserved for the adults due to the need them to communicate. It was also expensive to own and maintain one, making it reliable only to a select few. The environment has changed, and mobile phones have become even cheaper to own and posses. The increasing demand of the gadgets brought about many producers who started competing for market share. The competition worked well for most consumers who are now able to access the device of their choice at a reduced price. Thesis: In this paper, we shall argue on how adolescents can effectively use cell phones as the society appreciates the positive impacts it has on them.
Argument: After conducting research on mobile phones and adolescents, we realise that, most people discourage the use and possession of cell phones in schools among teenagers. The reason range from the impacts it has on the morals and upbringing of the children. After a critical study of the issue, we realise that the issue is not on the teenagers having cell phones but rather on the attitudes that the society has towards the device. In this paper, we shall learn that attitude change will make owning cell phones among adolescents less of a worry as they learn how to effectively use it.
There has been a dispute on the age at which children should be allowed to own mobile gadgets. In as much as some people feel the necessity that comes with the need, there have been fears on what the impacts the gadget will have on the moral growth of the children. Currently, children as young as ten years old in United States own internet enabled cell phones. The fears of the larger community has on teenagers owning the device will not necessarily make the young people shun away from the need to posses one. It will hence be easier to let off the fears and let the teenagers own the phones. Once it is accepted that teenagers cannot do without the phones, more workable solutions will be invented to ensure that the devices are used effectively and positively influence the teenagers.
Ling, in his article highlights on how the issue of cell phones among the teenagers has exposed their backgrounds, which their school administrators have been trying to deal with (Ling 8). When it comes to class and owning a phone, it ceases to be simply a gadget of communication but rather the make and the features that such a device has. Allowing children to have such gadgets in school hence makes them to be divided in terms of ability, which is dangerous. Even though this has been used as an excuse for many heads of schools to discourage cell phones in schools, it can easily be managed by encouraging them teenagers to own specific phones. Just as it has been easy to implement uniforms in schools, school administrators can also introduce a sort of cell uniform, which should be adhered to by both parents and students.
Even though Class remain a serious personal issue that schools have tried to fight, minimizing on the use of cell phones will not make things better. A teenager is mature enough to know and understand their backgrounds. The ability they have to learn in an institution of diverse groups of people, also gives them ability to know how to handle their issues. It has been imagined that, with the mobile phone prevalence, class issue is exposed which may cause stigma among students who cannot own a good internet enabled phone. The fact however is that, class issue will remain an issue in schools due to the different categories of students that the school administration has to maintain. In as much as they try to deny allegations that come with class, they will still remain. It is because every institution will have children from rich and poor backgrounds. All that matters is understanding how to handle the issue so that is does not negatively affect the children. For instance, parents and teachers need to make the teenagers understand that the sole reason for being in school is to acquire skills that will help them better their life and not floss about what their parents have. Once the teenagers have such an understanding, it will not bother them on who has a certain kind of phone or who does not. They will concentrate on their studies as they learn how to effectively use the devices in their possession.
The efforts of school administrations to minimize the possession of cell phones in schools have not been successful and will remain so, if some factors are not considered. Times have changed and so is the significance of cell phones to teenagers. Insecurity cases that have been reported in the past have made most parents buy cell phones for their children. The cell phones will facilitate communication in case of anything, and, therefore, making children get the most needed help. Most parents also see the need of communicating with their children directly while in school just to find out their whereabouts (Cox 32). Such communication facilitates bonding of the children as well as addressing any issue they may have. The reasons for allowing mobile phones in schools have been so many that it has become irresistible for the school administrators. The nature of cell phones also makes them portable without notice, which has also frustrated the efforts of some school administrators to declare a complete ban on them.
The best yet most dangerous thing that ever happened to cell phones is having the ability to access the internet. Internet has remained to be the biggest fear among parents and teachers whenever they think of getting cell phones for their adolescents. Easy access to the internet through cell phones has created a crisis among teenagers who are able to get all the information they need (Netzley 24). However, some positively use cell phones to carry out research on their schoolwork. Other teenagers use cell phones to quench their curiosity concerning some issues that range from sex, drugs and even crime. As parents and teachers worry about such issues, they need to remember that even before the invention of cell phones, teenage delinquency was still a major issue. Cell phones have only made the issue to be more sophisticated and done in a way that is least to suspect. The solution to such an issue does not lie in banning the use of cell phones among teenager but taking other corrective measures such as guidance and counselling, punishment and rehabilitation.
Puberty is a stage associated with adolescents that worry parents more concerning their children. As Privacy issues pertaining puberty have been exposed through the accessibility of the internet. As adolescents transit from childhood to adulthood, they experience hormonal imbalances that make them want to engage in some activities that may not necessarily be right. Most parents and teachers fear that cell phones will make their children access channels that will interfere with their teenage growth. The fear of them accessing pornographic materials through the internet and engaging in irresponsible sex bothers them. There is also the issue of cell phones giving them unlimited ability to interact with members of the opposite sex, which is likely to take their curiosity to a higher level. From such issues that are raised against cell phone use among adolescents, we realise that they are the same fears that parents have had towards their children even before the invention of cell phones.
The fact is that, once a child reaches puberty, they will be curious for certain information and experience. Such curiosity has the ability to make them go to higher lengths to get what they need. The solution is therefore to ensure that the children get the information that need from the right sources. Once they get what they are looking for from the right sources, they may not bother looking for it from elsewhere. It implies that, with effective sex education from both parents and teachers, pornography will not be a big issue among them and they will find other ways of effectively using their cell phones.
Parents having gone through adolescents stages should be in a better position to understand some of the schemes their children might use on them, especially where cell phone possession is concerned. Parents tend to trust their children basing on what they tell and display to them rather than carry out more research. Teenagers are intelligent to know that if their parents knew the truth about them, they will punish them and even deny them access to cell phones and other privileges. They will hence display a disciplined character in front of their parents just to please them and initiate more favours for them. By the time a parent realises that her teenage girl is not as innocent as she thought, she could be nursing a venereal disease transmitted through sexual intercourse (Collins & Martino 33). Such incidences usually come as a surprise to parents who wish they would have sensed the issue before it was complicated. Some parents end up blaming cell phones for compromising on the morality of their children, when they failed to take the necessary precautions.
On the other side of the issue of cell phones and teenagers, there are some positive impacts that are worth noting. Cell phones have been related with negative influences when teenagers are mentioned, yet there are other positive impacts that the devices have done. We are living in an era of technological developments and teenagers are proving to be an important tool of innovation. Having access to cell phones has made most of them think of ways through which the device can be used to better their lives and those around them. The inspiration has led many to aspire to undertake courses that will enable them come up with technological solutions (Morrill & Jones 18). The world currently prides of having teenagers that are independent due to their innovation skills. Some teenagers have been able to come up with ideas to better the use of cell phones, which they have gone ahead to develop or sell to big companies.
Innovation among teenagers was something unheard of before the immergence of cell phones. Most teenagers would finish senior school before they even establish a clear path for their life. However, cell phones had ensured the ability of teenagers to express themselves and interact as they get to realise areas of their biggest interest (Obringer 52). The use of cell phones and more the accessibility of the internet have made teenagers have access to a wide variety of information. There is no limitation on what they need to know about, which puts them in a better position to make informed decisions. Teenagers go through different phases of life, some that make them shy away from talking to their parents. Teenagers find it difficult to ask some questions, as they are not sure of how they will be taken by their parents. With the cell phone prevalence, they no longer have to worry about such issues as they can research on them and get clear information.
Private communication among teenagers and parents has been facilitated through cell phones. The conversation can be initiated through a message or even a call. Cell phones have also enhanced communication between parents and their teenage children, as they are able to update them of what is happening in their lives. The short message service enables teenagers to communicate without necessarily talking. A cell phone is an important device especially where sensitive matters are concerned. There are those issues that teenagers cannot just face their parents and tell them. Realising that it is necessary for them to know, most teenagers would send a message and wait for the reaction. For a teenager to use a cell phone to pass out a sensitive message instead of directly approaching his or her parent, it implies that the issue is of big magnitude. Such situations make parents act leniently on their children by giving them the moral support that they need. Mutual agreements have been able to be reached between parents and their children, which in minimize on the conflicts they face.
Cell phones prevalence has also enhanced on the security and safety of the children. Even though some teenagers find it easy to lie to their parents and teachers using cell phones, various security measures can find them out if they lie. Modern phones are fitted with application such as GPS and maps, which enable parents to locate the whereabouts of their children. Cases of child kidnapping have also been minimized, and the perpetrators arrested because of cell phones. Most kidnappers target children with the assumption that they can manipulate them due to their inability to communicate (Carroll 29). The kidnappers never realise or imagine that the children could be having cell phones, which they can use to contact the police or their parents, as well as be tracked. Several arrests are hence made, and the children and parents saved from manipulation by the kidnappers.
Cell phones prevalence has also transformed teenagers into critical thinker trough interaction. There is no limitation on the people that teenagers can interact and share their issues. With social media and the internet, teenagers have been exposed to people with like-mindedness, whom they are able to share and interact. The people they interact with range from age mates, to those older to them. Those who are older mostly serve as mentors to the teenagers who are able to get advice on certain issues of their lives. For instance, a teenager may realise that he or she has a unique passion, which the people around may not understand. However, enhanced interactions through social media helps teenagers identify people with similar passions and derives strength from them. Cell phones have hence minimized on the number of frustrated teenagers who could not get people they could identify with as well as encourage them to pursue their dreams and passions.
Teenagers can share their privacy issues on social media and are sorted courtesy of their internet-enabled cell phones. Conflict resolution and finding identity is most probably one of the biggest struggles among teenagers. Most teenagers at this stage may lead lonely lives due to lack of proper channels to release and share their issues (Rover 10). Social platforms on cell phones give teenagers the opportunity to interact with their age mates as well as councillors who are able to empathise with their issues. As teenagers scroll through some of the concerns of their age mates on the challenges they face, they are encouraged knowing that they are not the only ones facing the challenges. Teenagers can also ask questions and seek anonymity on such social platforms. Even though they get many feedbacks, some that may be misleading, they are able to make an informed decision. Despite the negativities that have been associated with social media, many teenagers have been able to find solutions to their deepest concerns as well as being hooked to people who have stood with them in times of need.
The use of cell phones and more especially among teenagers has proved to be inevitable. Since the day the market was flooded with cell phones, they become more affordable and accessible, as people found more reasons to own them. To the teenagers, the consequences have been good and bad in equal measures. Since the devices are here to stay with us, the society can simply look for better ways through which teenagers can use the gadgets without necessarily posing a danger to them (Smith 86). Teenagers can be very selective on the gadgets they desire to have, which can be quite difficult for the parents to make a choice for them. Proper advice should be given to children on how well to use the device by letting them know what it is likely to expose them to. In as much as parents allow their teenage children to own cell phones, they should maintain a close watch on them by observing their changing trends and behaviours.
Most parents who deny their teenagers access to cell phones with the hope of instilling discipline in them end up missing the point. Such parents end up exposing their children to some actions and behaviours that are likely to destroy them. Cell phones are the current craze among young people and denying one the opportunity does not necessarily mean they won’t be able to access it. Furthermore, parent who deny their teenagers the opportunity to own cell phones when they can afford it expose them to stigma, which is likely to affect their performance in school. We are living in a dynamic society where parents can no longer have control over the destiny of their children. It should be realised that the current environment exposes children to a wide variety of opportunities that their parents may not be aware.
Teenage life is a once in a lifetime stage where the teenagers have the opportunity to explore and learn many things. Parents and teachers only need to give the teenagers proper guidance instead of limiting them. Cell phones are necessary companions to children, only if they understand how to utilize them to improve their lives. Mistakes made by the curious nature of children while using the device should not necessarily be used against them; they can be punished but also taught on how to avoid such mistakes in the future. From the discussion, we realise that the gadget comes with many positive influences rather than the negatives. It is all about how an adolescent uses the device and getting proper guidance from the parents and teachers. After all, cell phones were invented to make life better and ensure convenience in communication. Once such an attitude is adopted where adolescents are involved, we will have fewer issues to complain about.
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