Cell phones for all

Cell phones are seen as essential by urban teen-agers, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Half of teenagers own their own cell phone, according to a 2004 survey by the Yankee Group, a Boston research firm. That number jumped from one-third of teens in just a year.

The number of teens owning cell phones skyrockets to 86 percent in Los Angeles and New York, according to a survey conducted by AT&T Wireless . . .

Low-income students who can’t afford lunch can get a cell phone with no credit check; some run up debts they can’t pay.

Seventy-five percent of Mission High students have cell phones, according to a recent survey conducted by (Principal Kevin)Truitt, and many of those interviewed said they couldn’t live without them. But 75 percent of the school’s students are also so poor they qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

One student went $2,000 in debt for phone calls.

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Comments

  1. Kenneth says:

    Cell phone use is a pernicious activity among adults and kids. Yes, busy project managers in the field need to be connected with suppliers and clients. But housewives, and kids at school?

    I feel the cell has depleted the thinking and organizing tendencies among their users. I get several phone calls a day that are asking for answers to questions that the caller, if they had thought about it just a little bit, might have figured out for themselves.

    For her 16th Birthday, our youngest lobbied for a phone. Nearly all her friends have one as do their mothers. Our eldest had found out the hard way just how expensive phones can be and was instructed by my asking her to list all the things she could have bought with the money that went to calling people on a whim.

    I showed the list to the younger sister. End of issue.

    Yes, the phones are expensive, but the greatest cost is that to organizational skills and an important virtue – patience.

  2. nstaats says:

    I like it that they don’t have money to pay for their own lunches/breakfasts, but they have money for a cell phone?

    It’s all a matter of priorities. And this clearly illustrates where these youngster’s priorities lie – and that’s a reflection upon their parents and culture.

  3. In NYC, sadly, people are taking seriously children’s cries for cells as a ‘safety issue’ because of 9/11.
    As a teacher at a 9/11 school (we were some of the evacuees) the biggest irony was that NO ONE’s cellphone’s worked. Well, Nextels did, but few had them then.
    IN school, there’s simply no reason for a student to have a cell. At night, the child can borrow a parent’s cell when they’re at the movies or mall. The only thing the kids used them for during school was ilicit activities (drugs, cheating, etc).
    There’s simply no good argument. I loved the list-making comment above.

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I want everyone to be in touch all the time. I want cities to be stripped of the power to object to cell phone towers. When implanted cell phones are available, I’ll take one.

  5. SuperSub says:

    Its funny how some students will try to legitimize their possession of cell phones in school. I was having a class work on some simple physics problems that required calculators, and I hadn’t brought them out of the prep room yet. So a quarter of the class immediately volunteered to use their phones as calculators, which I immediately shot down. They were surprisingly disappointed.

  6. Walter E. Wallis says:

    And them damn electric lights, too.

  7. Mad Scientist says:

    This is just too funny.

    About a year ago, I wanted to upgrade my cell phone because I was going to do a lot a travel to Europe. I needed a phone that worked on the systems over there. Cingular would be happy to sell me the phone, but they wanted me to wait SIX MONTHS before they would activate any international calling. And I have a decent job. And I was paying with an AMEX card directly billed each month. AT&T was much more accommodating.

  8. My husband was just telling me about a novel high school cell phone program. Everytime a student’s cell phone goes off in class, they get a $15 ticket!

  9. Roberts says:

    I had students in a college course being taught on a high school campus tell me that they couldn’t afford the $50 textbook … and every one of them had a cell phone.

  10. jameswilson says:

    Last week my cell phone got stolen while I were traveling in New York City. I suspended the phone number once I noticed it. Now, I came back to home and try to resume my phone number. I have a T-Mobile cell phone at home. I bought it less than 2 years ago and hardly use it. Manufacture date on the box is 1/3/2003. It is logical that I use this phone to resume my stolen phone/number. I called T-Mobile for about 2 and half hours (got cut off a couple of times). The final answer is “the SIM card is expired” and I have to purchase another SIM card. It will cost $20. To me it is super funny that a computer chip would expire?!!

  11. jameswilson says:

    Last week my cell phone got stolen while I were traveling in New York City. I suspended the phone number once I noticed it. Now, I came back to home and try to resume my phone number. I have a T-Mobile cell phone at home. I bought it less than 2 years ago and hardly use it. Manufacture date on the box is 1/3/2003. It is logical that I use this phone to resume my stolen phone/number. I called T-Mobile for about 2 and half hours (got cut off a couple of times). The final answer is “the SIM card is expired” and I have to purchase another SIM card. It will cost $20. To me it is super funny that a computer chip would expire?!!