Monday, March 28, 2011

Technology and Teens

According to the latest poll from the Pew Organization, about 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States own a mobile phone, up from 45 percent in 2004. This begs the question, "When do we let Teens gain access to their own personal technology?" What do you think is an appropriate age for someone to get their own cell phone? When do you think a child should have their own computer with an internet connection in their room? When should a child have their own television? Also, how many teens out there are sending or receiving sexual material over their cell phone? Some recent polls indicate 1 out of 3. Why do you think this trend, called "sexting" is becoming so popular?


MattDemp said...

I think that teens should have their own things such as tv's,computers, and cellphones, but once something bad happens, they should be banned from using it again.

ABilly said...

As a parent, I can understand that teenagers are being allowed to have their own t.v., computer, or cell phones but if it were up to me, I would have to consider what they could have in their rooms. Parents need to monitor what their children are doing regardless of age, since they are still responsible for them until they are ready to be on their own.

T.V. is not so hard to monitor so having one in the room is not a real hard decision to make, but as far as the computer, I would suggest that it stay in the family room or an in area where parents can monitor it without the teenager being distrubed. I had a computer set in the livingroom where we spent most of our time in so that we could monitor what our children was seeing and doing.

Cell phones are something that should be considered thoughly before one is given to the teenager regardless of age. Parents should talk to the teenager as what they expect from the teenager on how they are to use their phones. Parents can also call the service providers and request information on what they have to offer as to limits on the phone for children. Again parents monitoring. I personally would not allow my children under 16 to have one except for emergency use and it was also for temporary use but I held on to it until they needed it. I may sound mean but they are still children and my responsiblity so I knew what, who and when they were texting and calling.

Teenagers are sexting without thinking about what damages can occur to them or to someone else. They are also under peer pressure so again parents must monitor their teenagers use of the cell phone which I believe they are not being done in today's society.

aben said...

There are many children including those in elementary who own cell phones. I do not feel that children in elementary should not own cell phones, but I do think it's ok ok for kids in middle school in high school too. They should be closely monitored by parents, and I feel rules shouuld also be set for this privilege. I also feel that children should not be allowed to have internet access on their phone.

Computers and the internet in a child's is not a good idea in my opinion. There are too many websites that children chould not be viewing. I feel that putting the internet in a family room is probably more appropriate. This way children can still surf the web,and parents can still monitor.

I do think that children have the television in their room is not a bad idea. Parents should monitor what they watch and keep their viewing time limited though. Children must understand that having the t.v. in their room in a privilege though.

SarahLear said...

I didn't get a cell phone until I was in the 14 and in the eighth grade. And I was the last one in my grade. People began getting cell phones in sixth grade and by the end of seventh grade everyone had one but me. Granted, I went to a very small school and had a class of only about 40 people, but when eighth grade rolled around, I was literally the last one to get one. I know kids in the third grade that have their own cell phones. What is the point? What could you possibly need a cell phone for in the third grade? I can't imagine having had enough to talk to my third grade friends about that I needed a cell phone then.

I didn't get my own personal computer until my 18th birthday and right before college. In high school and before, I never had a need for my own computer. Sure, it would have been more convenient for writing papers and doing other school work, but it's definitely not necessary. I'm very money conscious with my own money and my parents, and owning your own personal computer in high school or middle school seems like just a waste of money.
Facebook wasn't popular until I was in the tenth grade, and then only college people had it and some high school students. Now, in addition to third graders having cell phones, they also use Facebook. So I can see why some children WANT their own personal computers, but they don't need them. A personal laptop is pretty unnecessary before college or maybe high school in some cases.

I never had a TV in my room. The fist personal television I had was in my dorm freshman year. As a result, I think I watch less television that some people. I turn on the TV to watch specific shows and specific times and that's about it. I've never been the type to just have the TV on in the background or while I'm doing something else. I think that's also a result of never really having a TV of my own growing up. I still don't have one in my parents house. I do here at school, but like I said it's only on when I want to watch a specific show.

I believe having access to personal electronics at such young ages is exactly why trends like "sexting" are popular. I didn't even know what sex was at these ages, much less that you could participate in it via text messages or on the phone. And I believe having a personal computer and television at such young ages exposes children and young adults to things that are way too mature for them such as violence and cussing in addition to sex.
Sure, everyone is entitled to their privacy. But what do third and fourth graders have to be private about. When you're that age you're not entitled to all that much privacy nor do you need it. But by letting kids this age have personal TVs, phones and computers it's exposing them to things they shouldn't know about for years.

lisahenry said...

I personally do not have a problem with my son having his own cell phone. Our family was a little behind on getting our first cell phones and I have to say that I wish I would have had them when my daughters were teenagers. For me, it's mostly for peace of mind so that he can let me know when he gets to his destination. There were times when my daughters were in school that events were over before I would get to the school to pick them up...the cell phone allows me to just be a call away. I've never really had that much of a problem with my son having his phone - there was a time when his friends would call at all hours of the night but he just started turning it off at night so, problem solved. He also has a computer and a tv in his room and I've never had any trouble other than he sometimes tries to stay up too late on school nights. He is 17 now and he's had his own phone since 13. I think that the issue with "sexting" is probably popular because kids, and some adults, feel that they are sharing a private moment and that's there's really no harm in it. Obviously, there is a lot of harm and it could actually result in jail time and even being labeled as a sex offender if you are over 18 years old.

All the technology is still so odd to me when I think of how things were when I was a teenager. I'm 47 now - when I was a teenager, we were on a party line which meant that we shared our phone line with 3 other people. One of those people was my old aunt who was quite mean and would yell at us when we picked up the phone if she was having a We had a 13 inch black and white tv until I was a senior in school and I learned to type on an old manual typewriter (not even electric!). I'm still trying to catch up with most of you but...I have to tell you...I think this whole "technology thing" is pretty cool.

CLiddell said...

I believe children should have access to personal technology about 16 years old. That is when I gave my daughter her own cell phone and a computer (with internet)in her room. Before hand, she had shown me how responsible she was in order to receive those goodies. Also, her having a computer in her room provided me with more time to monitor what was going on in her room, for I live on the computer(in her room).

As far as television goes, we have always just had 3 or 4 televisions, so there were televisions all over the house, including their rooms. I don't think there's anything wrong with a child having a television in their room at any age. Because of technology today, we are able to control what channels our children can view.

I believe about 90% of teens are sending and receiving sexual material over their cell phones. Today sex is so hot with teen, more than with adults. Also, texting is just the new way of saying what you do not want to say face-to-face. Therefore, sexting is just the lastest thing with these sexual alert teens, and I think it will be around a very long time.

DSEELEY said...

Before 9/11 I thought that a teen in high school was old enough to have access to a cell phone, not only for communication with their parents but to learn how to budget their money to pay for the phone. I now feel that children in Jr. High school should also have acess to phones. Computers are another story, students in first grade now have access to computers in school and start with computer basics. by middles school or about 5th grade it is almost imposible for a student not to have access to a home computer for school work, now does this mean they need one of their own no!, Jr high would be appropriate for their own computers. With WiFi more and more available and now available on most cell phones it's hard to say when an internet connection would be age appropriate since the internet is so available. "Sexting" as it is called now is as popular as Playboy and Penthouse and Playgirl were when we grew up. Does any one remember the Polariod Cameria where pictures came out instantly, or how about video taping private moments. The use of the cell phone today just shows how far technology has developed. Dr. Wiliams I belive you left out to key areas concerning teens in this country and they are the use of cell phones while driving and the dreaded "Texting" while driving. I feel that these two are probably bigger problems then "sexting".

candrews_4 said...

I have noticed kids younger than 12 that have cell phones, nice ones too. Most of them own their own computer, might as well have their own cell phone, unless parents are smart enough to block certain sites. Also give their child a pre-paid phone, but most phone companies have family plans to where their parents can monitor and see how many minutes their child is using and who they are calling.
I feel that a child should have their own cell phone when they are in high school, maybe about 16 years of age. When they are legal to drive and have their own car. Anything can happen, a flat tire or wreck, so they would need their cell phone to call for help. As far as their computer goes, they should have one at a younger age because there is a lot of learning software out there. Having an internet connection, they should be about 13 years of age.
There are a lot of things happening on television and some companies have it where you can block certain channels for kids, so I think about 6 or 7 years of age. My nephew is 7 now, but he was watching television way before then, but he likes to watch cartoons and other shows and kid movies. Also they have a lot of these game consoles out, so kids need something to play on.
A lot of people figure that sex sales and instead of having it on television and computers, it’s on cell phones now. 1 out of 3 should be 0 out of 3 because they shouldn’t have access to that at all. People think it’s cool and really it’s unacceptable when you are at a young age.

abuckhalter said...

Children and their use of technology is becoming dangerous. I strongly feel that 13 is a good age for children to have access to a cell phone. However, there should be some parental control over the phone. Many junior high students and high school students participate in sports and other extracurriculum activites and a cell phone is their way of contact their parent. Parent should have detailed billing and all codes to their children phones. The parent should require thier children phones to be given to them at a certian each night.

As for computers, there is no reason for a high school child to have their own computer. Giving your children nice things are great but when you can not monitor their actions as needed, things can get out of control with out you knowing. Every household needs a computer but children do no need their own private computer with access to the internet in their room because there are too that can be done in the vicinty of your home and you not know anything about it.

Elle B. said...

In my opinion, if you can't drive, you don't need a cell phone. Who are these kids wanting to call? If they're away from their parents, then the only phone calls they need to make is to their parents. All other calls can be done on the house phone. I remember hearing about a girl in 3rd grade having a cell phone. One word: foolish.

Children can use the computers at school or their parent's computer. They do not need their own. It's a waste of money. A family desktop can easily have parental controls. A child having their own laptop just doesn't seem safe to me and not very financially smart. You get your own computer when you go to college. A child having their own TV is fine in my opinion.

This sexting thing is getting really out of hand. I have witnessed girls doing this and I don't get it. Why show the goodies if he's not getting it? I think the trend is becoming popular because it seems that every generation gets more sexually charged. The millennial's are sexting, the next generation will be able to have sex with each other through 3-D computers. It's just the world getting worse.

dgarrard said...

I think a teen around the driving age or the time they begin to go places without parental supervision would be an appropriate age for a cell phone. The necessity arises for cell phone access when the possibility arises for an emergency away from home, or just to check in with their parents. The internet connectivity is something that can begin at a younger age but must be monitored closely. If you feel the child needs access to the internet for school then a program like Net Nanny would be appropriate. Access to the vast oceans of data is necessary for kids in today's ever-changing world but it must be supervised.

The idea of sexting is still quite foreign to me. Why these teens find it necessary to send sexual material through texting is difficult for me to understand. I feel it goes back to how liberal the entirety of our media has become. Nothing is sacred anymore. So this thought process is passed down to our children through our own actions, and they begin to think that this is an appropriate action. It is yet another subject that proves the decline in our society.

JLafond said...

The use of technology in children is widespread and I think that some is necessary and some is not. First, I think that children (even younger ones) should have cell phones for safety reasons. If there is ever a problem, they can contact their parents if they need them, especially if there is an emergency. Especially for children that wait for the bus stop. As for high school students, I think that they are mature enough to handle cell phones. However, I feel that a kids and teens can get into a lot of trouble with a computer and internet connection. I don’t think that they should have access to the internet with a computer in their rooms because it is not necessary. I never had my own computer until college because there was no need for it. I think that a child’s safety can be jeopardized, especially if they are talking to a stranger over the internet. Once they become adults, then they should be mature enough to have their own computer.

As for the television, I think that televisions are alright because they programming can be easily monitored. I had my own television when I was a teenager and I still have one today. But I don’t watch a lot of television and I never have. I don’t think that having a television means that you’re going to watch more TV. It’s convenient to be able to turn on the news and, once and a while, a show that I may want to watch.

Brandon L. Atkison said...

Gaining access to personal technology is not always a bad thing. In order for us to stay current with the world we must expose ourselves with technology, otherwise we will become outdated. I do not know an appropriate age to gain access to a cell phone, for my generation it was when you got your driver’s license. That trend seems to be slowly fading and kids are getting them in early middle school. I think kids should be allowed to have them but have a system where the parent takes it from them when they are around the kid because that’s the only person they should be talking to. Add more leniency as they grow older. As far as computers go, kids should not have them in their rooms, instead there should be a family computer because kids of this generation tend to get attached to them and can become antisocial. On the matter of the television, kids should be allowed to have them just make sure parental settings are applied. I believe sexting is becoming popular because it offers inexperienced teens the chance to explore their sexuality earlier without all the complications real sex can create.

Shelly said...

I think that an appropriate age for a child to have a cell phone is when he or she begins driving. I was 15 when I got my learners permit and that is when I was given my first cell phone. It was always there if I needed it, but I wasn't alowed to use it otherwise. I had to use the house phone to call friends, which at the time, I didn't understand why. Now I understand and appreciate my parents for being involved and keeping up with who I talked to, hung around with, and where I went. I think parents are a little relaxed on the amount of freedom that they give their kids these days. I think that before giving any teenager a phone, computer, car, etc., they must prove how responsible and trustworthy they are. Also, their should be restrictions on the use of phone and computer and parents have to be the ones to monitor and enforce the rules.
I think that a child should not have a computer in their room. My husband and I both have computers and neither of us has it in a place where we could be tempted to do something or look at something inappropriate, even at our adult age. So, if adults have to guard themselves, just think of how much more tempting things would be to a teen who is also receiving peer pressure and pressure from society to push the limits.
We do allow our 7 year old to have his own 27 inch tv in his room, mostly for playing football, bowling, and etc. On his WII. He is allowed to watch certain tv channels, appropriate for his age, mostly cartoons. We are careful to monitor the shows he watches and the amount of time he spends watching tv.
So, as with anything technology related, parents have to be careful to monitor what their kids are doing. Just as the media shoves sexual themes at teens in almost everything they see on tv or hear on the radio, the Internet has, too, meet the expectation to provide them with that opportunity. Now phones are being used for that purpose. So it comes back to parents knowing what their kids are doing at all times and enforcing rules and consequences to make them responsible for their actions.

Sasha said...

I don't know to much about sexting, but it sound like something i would not want my child or nieces and nephews to participate in. Now the whole idea behind teens having their own cell phone, i don't really agree with. Television is ok to have as long as it is supervised, and as far as having their own computer, that is a complete no. With the cellphone thing, with the way society is today, no teen should be allowed to have their own cell phone. in my opinion, a teen don't have much to discuss on a phone, therefor they don't really need it; however, it do come in handy for the child to have in case of an emergency. My child worried me to death about getting him a phone and he is only 11, i was against at first, until i realized, he just wanted to play games and talk to love one, so i got him one. of course, it was for him to use so he could leave my phone alone. Now, the idea of a teen having their own computer is scary. There are to many things that can be done on the computer that can lead to negativity on the other hand,they are going to do whatever anyway.

JG Hanks said...

As with anything, technology changes the way people interact with each other. This isn't any different with teens and children. My daughter is two years old and knows how to call me, her mom and her grandma on my wife's cell phone. She also knows how to do a few simple tasks on a computer. She can even choose her favorite television show to watch on Netflix. I don't think there is a definitive "right" age for anything, let alone technology. It depends on the child's maturity level as well as their parents' knowledge of said technology. For me, there is nothing that a child can do with a computer or cell phone that I don't know how to block or monitor. My kids know that. Television should be monitored as well as anything else a child does that can be used against them in a negative way. Television and the internet are extremely valuable teaching tools. They aren't just a negative thing.

The recent trend of sexting is no different that any other thing humans have done in the past in courtship and flirting. It is so easy to send one of these pictures without first thinking of the consequences. Kids don't really see the harm and think only the recipient will see it. They don't exactly know who is coming in to contact with these pictures or how they can be used against them. Celebrities can't even keep their pictures out of some people's hands so how can our kids do so? We all make mistakes. We just need to be smart enough to learn from them.

eld_school said...

I think many teens are given too much freedom and too much access to internet. Too many of the young teenagers do not realize the dangers of giving out information on social networks. The other day as I was checking my account I saw that a 10 year old cousin had on her page her name, where she lived and where she went to school. To me this is dangerous and the child should not be allowed to have a Facebook account. I do not think young teens should have a computer in their room with internet accessibility. Computers need to be in an area where use can be supervised.
As for TVs, I do not have a problem with a teen having one in their room. However, I do think there should be rules as to when and what can be watched.
I think with all types of technology the main thing is for parents to be involved in their children lives and to know what their children are doing.

LMRowe said...

I did not get a cell phone until I was 19 years old. My daughter already has her own personal computer, cell phone, and etc. I allowed my daughter to get a cell phone so early because I wanted to keep in contact with her. When her grades start to slip, those things are taken away from her. Those particular items are not given back to her until her grades are satisfactory to me. My daughter has a television in her room. Her bedtime is 9:00, and she knows that the television goes off at 8:50. If your child respects you, then you will have no problem with certain situations.