Cool or Connected: Why do you have a cell?


Teens_cellphones A recent study suggests that teens care more about how their cell phone keeps them connected to friends and family than whether it comes in their favourite colour.

The study, conducted by Mobile Online Testing Exchange and eCRUSH, suggests that owning a cell phone makes teens feel "connected" more than other emotions like feeling fashionable.

Being able to customize their mobiles with screensavers, take pictures and play games are amongst the highest ranked features that this young demographic are interested in.

But the king of cell phone features for teens remains the ability to send text messages, with over 72% of the participants saying this was the most important feature to them.

It seems that this age group (13-17 year olds), while having the freedom to make purchasing decisions based on more whimsical needs, are very practical when it comes to their choice of gadgets. The majority of them cite the cell phone as their favourite device, with 51% of teens saying they "absolutely could not live without" it.

For me, actually being able to talk to people remains the most compelling reason to own a cell phone but I realize that makes me something of a caveman… which cell phone feature matters most to you?

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50 comments

  1. Josh

    I don't think teens (13-17) really *need* their cell phones. It's a lot like the old question "why'd you start smoking?" with the answer being "to be cool" (whether they'll admit it or not), cell phones, iPods, laptops, gadgets like that become status symbols. If you've got the newest cell, or version of iPod, your social standing goes up a notch or two.

    Personally, I do need my cell, I don't like it, but I work security at a chemical plant, and I'm the only guard who lives in town, so if there's an emergency (fire, explosion, etc.) I'm the de facto on call guy, and the people here will need to get in touch with me so I can report in and help out. But [junior] and high school students who just want to text each other in class, or if they've been sent to their rooms, no, they don't *need* their cell phones, and despite their arguments to the contrary, they *can* live without them…

    Kids these days I tells ya.

    Like

  2. Stacey

    I work for a major cell company in the us, and believe me it's too be "cool", Parents…. Block Everything but phone calls… or make them pay for the service they use, it's crazy the calls we get saying they have charges for downloads, and they let the kids use their phones to download games, they have tv,and video games for a reason. Phones are meant to be Phones… Not personal computers, a device used in order to communicate verbally with another person, not texting, or messaging.

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  3. ash

    MY DAD AGREES WITH U BUT I MYSELF DONT
    CELLPHONES ARE A WAY TO COMMUNICATE AND BE SOCIAL
    KIDS NEED TO BE SOCIAL
    NOT SOCIAL OUTCASTS

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  4. David

    I'm a 17 year old student, and think Josh and Stacey do have some valid points but are ultimately wrong. I know you may be older, but cell phones are part of our generation. Just like the walkman and mullet was for yours. Stacey of all people working for a major cell phone company should be happy with the use of the other accessories, which in a way may provide that food on her plate. Yes, having the new “cool” cell phone is something a lot of teenagers do wish to have. It’s like having that new “barbecue”, or that new “dress”. Everyone aside from maybe elders is seeking the new and advanced item. It all comes down to the benefits it provides us. Yes, it is embarrassing if a teenager has a phone the size of a brick just like it would be for anybody. At the end of the day teenagers can give a quick text message to meet behind the school, to see what there doing that tonight, to communicate faster. To those who think we teenagers want them to be “cool” that is just not the case, and welcome to the year 2007. To those who disagree, I will gladly trade my “cool” cell phone for your “crackberry” any day.

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  5. reply to ash

    umm i dont think not having a cell phone makes you a social outcast. I dont have one and i know people who dont have one. And we all have plenty of friends. Plus,think about this. Just a few years ago the average teen did not walk around talking to an electrical device. We talked to people in person and were happy with just that. So howcome now, we can't live without our cell phones?

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  6. Rachel

    WEll i am definatly in the "teen" category and i dont think it is necessary for me to have a cell phone but it would definatly suck without it. i talk to a lot more people that i would have never talked to without text messaging.. i wouldnt have thought he or she would have been worth phoning but it is fun to just text them randomly. also i am gone four or five times a week to rodeos and that is how my parents contact me cuz i no i would never go out of my way to call them so my phone is definatly needed in that case.. as well as many others. it would have been great to have a phone when my horse fell on me and broke my leg but instead no one knew where i was and i had to get back on my horse and ride half hour home with a broken leg. and with society changing teens are out and about socializing which is good and it is nice to have a cell phone to communicate with friends and family. so i think it more depends on what the teen is doin to decide whether or not it needs a cell phone.

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  7. John

    I'm 19 and on my second year of university. having a cell phone wasn't a status symbol, or something cool in highschool. 80% of kids had them. its like having a computer its just something that makes your life easier. I was by no means a cool kid either. i got mine when i was 16, i do agree that parents shouldn't pay for any extra features. my parents didn't pay for any part of mine at all, and i didn't ask them before i bought one. but i worked 30 hours a week during highschool, so the $30 bucks a month wasn't a big deal.

    also text messaging is almost more important than the normal phoner part. if someone is in a class they really don't want their phone ringing.

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  8. Justin

    Well I had a landline all throughout highschool and was fine with that, but I find that arguing over students having a cell is like letting them have a car. So long as you use either responsibly who cares, and the only way to truly be responsible is to have experience.

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  9. Conrad

    It was only 5 years ago that I fell into the "teen" category. I had a cell phone and I paid for it myself. Although I only got the cell phone because of an illness my father had and the need to be reached practically 24/7. I gave up my cell phone about 3 years ago and after the first month of weirdness I felt unbelievably free. Imagine not being on a tether 24 hours a day. Imagine having the freedom to call people back when my schedule allowed, not when they happened to call me. Just a month ago I was required to get a cell phone again and I must admit I would sometimes rather just leave it off. But that defeats the purpose and then I get in trouble with my superiors.

    Bottom line, as a teen, I didn't have the cell phone to be cool. It was necessary. But I also never used it for downloading things, texting, or web browsing. Now I have a cell phone because I'm required to, and I miss the freedom of not having one. I guess I must have been born after my time.

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  10. Josh

    I'm only 23, so I never had a mullet (and I never will now… frackin genetics…) I'm just saying… isn't it easier to talk to your friends at recess? Spare? Lunch? In person? I understand the convenience of the cell phone, being able to get in touch with someone any time, texting silently so you're not being the abnoxious guy in the mall screaming into a phone "Can you hear me now?!" Hell, playing chess on a bus helps pass the time. But still, cell phones (like msn, and the internet) seem to have cut our actual human interaction drastically.

    I'm no different, I talk on msn, and over phones more than I speak to people in person, but I don't really like it. And when I see some 4 foot nothing, 13 year kids strutting down the street with their cells hanging on their belts, or off their ears, I just laugh. Are you so insecure with yourself that you have to be in *constant* contact with someone?

    Can't you wait until you're home to call them on the phone, or even send an email? Or just track them down at school. These things only serve to add to the lazyness factor of todays … everyone. I can't even just say youth, it isn't the McDonalds that's causing obesity, it's the lazy factor. "Why walk down the street, or to the next hallway to talk to my friend when I can hit a few buttons and text him?"

    Then there's the whole "internet speak" you know what I mean… turning 'E's into '3's and whatnot…

    I would kill for 24 hours of no one trying to get in touch with me…

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  11. Dave

    Cell phones are definitely not necessary for teens. i'm very close friends with a family with 2 teen kids, and before they both got cell phones, they weren't worrying so much about what their friends were doing, and there was more unity and a lot less fighting amongst the members of the family. i was just fine without a cellphone until i was 24. I believe the only valid argument for kids having a cell phone is so that parents can keep tabs on them.

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  12. Geoff

    Distraction devices that will get you hurt in the long-run. I can't understand people walking or driving talking, or pretending they're talking to someone. Again B.C. is way way behind the rest of North America…Ban the use of phones while driving. Idiots…

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  13. Nikita

    Well josh, seems like you got the average 13 year old figured out.. news flash not every ones '4 foot nothing' and not every one has a cell phone at that age. I turned 13 a few years ago, and I did not have a cell phone. I got my phone when I was 15.

    If you are commenting and saying teens have their phones to be 'cool' and you are over the age of 19. Then I don't think it's acurate for you to be responding. You are older than our generation, so you have no idea what things are like now. ALL adults think they have teenagers all figured out, when they don't. Just because you never had cell phones at your age, doesn't mean our generation shouldn't have them either.

    Cell phones have nothing to do with the social status factor in school. There will always be cliques, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. If you are 'unpopular' and you have a cell phone, it ain't going to make you all of a sudden have more friends. Also if you are 'popular' & you don't have a cell phone, your friends aren't just going to kick you out of their 'group'.

    I think it's so natural to see teenagers these days going with their cell phones, that when I do see one talking on the phone, I don't even notice enough to say something like 'Why can't they wait to talk to their friends later?' I think thats very rude. Josh, you have no idea why they are on the phone, or even who they are talking to. So I don't think there is any need to be 'laughing'.

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  14. Dianne

    Well, I'm way past being a teen. The reason my son had one when he was a teen
    was for emergency use. He went to school out of area and traveled on a bus both ways and I worked in Toronto which was an hour and half from home or two hours away from his school. This was not purchased as soon as he became a teen, but later when he was getting closer to reaching his driving age. Living out in the country where you aren't able to get to a phone gave me a lot more relief knowing he could call if need be.

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  15. Spencer

    Teens don't NEED cells. They're handy, but our parents survived high school without cell phones, didn't they? My thinking is that if a teen believes that they really do NEED their phone, they should pay for it themselves. Then at least they're learning to earn their own money, instead of having their parents pay for it instead, so they learn some responsibility, which, in my opinion, many teenagers lack.

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  16. Shawn

    It's fun to argue about if cells are good or bad. When it comes down to it, both parties the young generation and the old make good points. The young have to understand that hey, we grew up when things were not so easy. We are not saying that all of you guy and girls are lazy either,we are tell you to be careful and dont let computers, cell phones pda's what not control your life. How many of you can spend a week or two without msn messenger? or a call phone? im just curious. As a physical therapist i have kids come into my office saying that they are sore hands and how its bugging them almost everyday. First thing i do is ask them if they own a cell phones and how long they spend on the computer. Excessive use of anything is bad for your health. It's fine to have cell phones. Just know that there might be problems if you over use them, and please, please don'nt cell and drive for those of you how are old enough. For those older people that think they can do it, since they are older get over it.I am 26 not old but not young either. I still care about those around me. Remember that there are other people out there too.

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  17. Mackenzie

    Personally, I'm almost 18, a university student, and I don't have a phone. There, I said it, I admit it. I'm never at a loss at to when parties are occurring, to most of the gossip, or to be there if a friend needs help (The first two I get from Facebook, but thats nother topic altogether). Plus, if I really need to make a call, everyone else has one anyway, and everyone's always willing to share.

    Having a call phone in the preteen or early teen can almost be compared to a complex. The excuse that parents need years to be in constant contact with their kids "just in case" something goes wrong, or the child needs help is ludacris. However, a large percentage of that demographic likely get their first phone (on their parent's bill, of course) under that guise of safety. This is just another symptom of helicopter parenting that today's youth have turned around into something for them, not their parents.

    After all of that though….I do want a phone, but on my own dime, and purely for my own convenience. I would much rather text someone in reply to meet up with them later, than get back home, check my voice mail (on my home phone), and miss them entirely. Games and browsing the web, and other downloads (well, maybe not ringtones) aren't necessary in my world.

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  18. Mrktwatchr

    Social? At what cost and who pays?
    Lets be real hear for a minute .. their is a silent addiction to all electronic gagetry .. whether it is hand held or desk top kids these days are sucked into the coolness factor ..if you dont have it your not cool!!! they stay up late on there cell phones talking all night . Or answer the damn thing when they are way over thier allowd package of mins . WHO is paying? Is it worth 600 plus dollars to talk to your friend.. What is there to talk about ??
    They stay up all hours on MSN as well.
    We have all heard about the tumors that cell phones are suppose to cause but these kids keep these things pressed against their ears for hours at a time or 1000's of hours a month . We know smoking causes cancer and people still smoke. What will be the health cost to this generation?

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  19. Mrktwatchr

    Shawn and Makenzie you both make alot of sense but my question to all is Wh is paying the bills?
    pay phones are still the cheapest or lets not forget we are in the wired world and we have so many programs to stay in touch E-mail,MSN,Yahoo,Facebook,Xbox, Etc.. What is the true cost of these gagets?

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  20. Megan

    I am not a teenager, and I have no desire to be one, and I am not saying that I have an insight into being one in this day and age. However, I do work with teenagers every day. For lots of them, I supervise them at their first part-time job. Cell phones are handy for those kids who need to be picked up or who are making plans for after work. The kids who don't have cell phones always want to use the business phone, and lots of times they use it without permission to make personal calls. This becomes a huge issue with me. As a supervisor, I am meant to control what is happening at all times, and to have the phone line tied up with personal calls is a huge bother. That being said, many of the kids I supervise use their phones during work time, which is also a definite no-no for our company. You can't be running to the back to text someone or answer your phone when you are serving a customer.

    I agree that cell phones are a good idea for a lot of teenagers. With the hectic schedules that kids have these days, it is a nice idea to be able to contact them. I do believe though, that if they want "extras" on their phones, that they should be paying for those themselves. If they are old enough to have a job, they are old enough to pay their own bills.

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  21. Sandra

    It's been interesting reading the previous comments on this topic, as the mother of two teens, the issue has been discussed several times.

    I surely did not have a cell phone, nor a home computer during my teen years, hell we didn't even have cordless phones -so ya, I'm pretty old.

    I don't think my daughter NEEDS a cell phone for safety or any other reason. She is growing up with MSN and a cordless phone she can use in the privacy of her own bedroom if she chooses. She is not out of the loop when it comes to school or social activities, and if someone has to log on and email her, or actually phone a land line to call her, well the extra effort it took for them to ensure she knows about an event only re-enforces the idea that she is well-liked, and her presence is in demand.

    As a parent who is allowing my daughter to learn responsibility through experience – it's quite simple – be where you say you're going to be, with who you say you are going to be with. Be home at the agreed time. This is responsible, and knowing that "life happens" find a phone and let me know if plans are changing. There are millions of land lines, payphones and if all else fails – use your friends cell phone – they all have them.

    Even if she could afford to pay for one herself, this is NOT a crutch I will use to know where and with who my kid is hanging with.

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  22. Katie

    I agree with both sidesin a sense because people at those ages you would think just waste money keeping in touch with friends or family but I also think that cell phones i pod's etc.. are just tools of this generation. When I was 14 I had a cell phone that I paid for and when i was 16 i stopped using it, now I'm 19 and just purchased another one, I admit I text a lot now because it's a lot easier to get together with people that way but when i bought it the sole purpose was going to be calling my parents or making sure others could keep in touch with me. I could definetly live without it but it's a lot more convenient for me since I'm never home. People just need to realize that most of the generation today has a lot of gadgets and the people i know aren't trying to be cool by having them it's just we will buy them because it's something new.

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  23. JK

    Personally, I think teenagers, and most adults, do not need a cell phone. It is a luxury item for any person who owns one, but only where it is not an absolute requirement for work purposes. Humans survived centuries without these little devices, and the world did not implode!

    I myself am 24 years old, and I just recently moved to a different continent from family and friends to continue my studies. Yes, I purchased a cell phone when I got here, but it is strictly for use to communicate with my family, and only because cell phones are cheaper than landlines in this country. I have never given the number out to anyone but family, as if someone really wants to get a hold of me, they can find me by either sending an email, knocking on my door, or waiting until they see me next to tell me what they need to say. My first cell phone was purchased when I was 20 and heading to university, and again only my family knew the phone number. My thinking is, if your friends really need to talk to you, they will make the effort to contact you in person or by email.

    And to the teenagers who argue that people have no idea what the conversations involve and they may be oh so important, well, we can hear your conversations loud and clear in public places, and so far, all I've ever heard are those involving gossip about what someone did to someone else, or who dumped who. Not really something I would consider an emergency conversation, but maybe that's just me…

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  24. Brandon

    I got my first phone when I was 15. I am 21 now and I was the first of my group of friends to get one. So at the time, having a cell phone wasn't necessarily cool thing. My first phone didn't have the web or any of the cool jazz. It didn't even have a colour screen. I got my cell phone for my birthday because my dad had gotten one. It was never a want for me before I got one, and I still don't really want one. I don't think people need cell phones but it does make life easier being able to use a phone wherever and whenever you need one. A few months ago my phone was sent in for repairs and I have to say, that was a great 2 months. No one could get a hold of me at all hours. I'll admit it was hard letting go at first but it was nice. My phone is way outdated, it doesn't have a camera or any of that fancy stuff, because I simply have no need for it. If I need to take a picture, guess what I'll use… that's right a camera!
    But now to the teens… They don't need them but I am young enough to see the role they play and how they fit into the lifestyle. I think a big part of why teens want the newest stuff is because of what they see on TV all day. They are bombarded by advertisements even when they watch the newest rap videos. The hip hop culture is huge with teens right now, and in hip hop, newer and flashier is better.

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  25. Brandon

    Oh, and no my dad didn't pay my cell phone bill when I was 15. It was implicitly stated that if I wanted to use it, I would have to pay for it myself.

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  26. Adrienne

    I am 19 and I don't think cell phones are necessary at all. I personally have one and got my first phone when i was 16, but I use it for calls that I need to make. You'll never see me calling someone for no reason. I think it is a good device to get in touch with someone, because you never know when you will need to. Be it an emergency, or something of that nature. That being said, whenever I see a group of 13 year olds all taking out their phones to dial up their friends, I think it's silly.

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  27. Brett

    I am 15, and i just got a cell phone
    in June/07. I could live without my cell phone, but it just makes things
    alot easier,
    For example, You're looking for your friends
    somewhere, but can't find them at all,
    you can either send them a text message, or
    call them using cell phones.
    Or if you have friends that are moving away to like, another province or state,
    you can still keep in touch with them
    by text messaging because its no extra charge for long distance texts.
    A teenager having a cell phone makes them
    alot more available to their friends,
    so in a way it does make you more "social".
    But atleast my parents arent spoiling with getting me a cell phone,
    i have to pay for everything that came with it.
    And trust me, I dont like paying the 60-80 dollars a month for it, but its just one of those things
    that I would like to have, such as someone
    who wanted to have Halo 3 or whatever.

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  28. Tiffany

    My stepdaughters have cell phones that they have had for two years now, they are now 13 and 14. My mother-in-law got them for them in case they were in an emergency situation, which is very possible. This was just after their bi-polar mother had a manic episode while the girls were in her care and was admitted to the hospital for a month. HOWEVER, the girls DID end up at a friend's house and called us right away to let us know what had happened.

    Their "emergency" phones are now used constantly to talk to friends and my mother-in-law calls them both every morning before school, and their mother calls them twice at lunch, and five times after school.

    They do NOT need these phones, as we have a land line, and they have free reign over it, as long as they answer the call waiting. My mother in law pays for the phones, because there is no way I would agree to them having a cell phone.

    My husband and I both had cell phones for a few years, but they are so expensive here in Canada that there is actually a class-action-lawsuit being filed against the major cell phone companies. The day I shut off my cell phone was a day of liberation and freedom.

    I didn't have a cell phone when I was a teenager, but I paid for my own pager, and that was not quite as annoying as a cell phone, but still I didn't like it and shut it off after 6 months.

    My grandmother is a hospice nurse, and in the 80's and early 90's when she would see people walking around with cell phones and pagers, she used to think, "Wow, they must be really important." Now she thinks, "Wow, they must be really impatient."

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  29. joe

    They don't need them. It's just a world of
    spoiled teenagers. In many ways, its mommy and daddy's fault they have them. They compain after that they don't know where the money goes. Its a bunch of bull that they think their kids are safer with cells.They can get into more trouble faster with the dam things.

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  30. Kate

    as a mom of 4 girls ages 20 to 8 I say the start of grade 8 I need them to have one, for safety and piece of mind, the fact they have them may be a bonus to them, but when they get off the bus a little late moms on the other end while you walk home,or while they walk to school and its still a little dark(they are grade 8 they don't want you to walk them,just secure them, you drop them at the mall with girls standng outside you know they don't get along with,you get the text from school theres a lockdown,once after getting the wrong bus and a forgotten phone, it was 3 slammed doors befor finally the tears and the next person let her use the phone,and they know what races through moms head when they do not answer,heck they don't even walk to the store without it, this world it full of wacked people, and the day of I will be home at dark is loooong over,I cannot count the times I and I mean I as a parent needed that phone, no matter what the cost.

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  31. Nahya

    I don't see how a 13 year old NEEDS a cellphone. What does a 13 year old do in his/her free time that a cell phone is absolutely needed??? You go to school, maybe stay for extracurricular activities, then you go home!!! Whatever phone calls you need to make can easily be made at home or from a payphone on "emergency cases". The need for cell phones that young really depends on the lifestyle and the way parents are with their kids. Maybe I am just speakin from my experience where in my early teens, my parents didn't let me go out much, so the need of a cellphone wasn't necesssary. If ever I did go out, my dad would gladly pick me up from my friend's house/movies/mall/library all thanks to a good old 25 cents or my friend's land line. Now, at 22, workin full time and goin to university part-time, having a boyfriend, friends and family to contact, I feel a cellphone (that I pay for) is a must with my lifestyle.

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  32. Victoria

    i'm 17 and i worked to buy my own cellphone. my parents don't pay for it , i do. and like said before if you have your own job , 75$ a month is worth calling/texting friends to find out whats up for the weekend or how their date went.

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  33. Pye

    I am 18 and do not "need" or want a cell phone. I also do not use Facebook. YET, I still contact my friends just fine. Also, games, TV, and internet on phones are stupid ideas. Also, texting is only good for sending information, like someone else's phone number or an address or something hard to remember.

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  34. angelmom

    No kids or teens for the most part have need to own a cell phone.There are exceptions to the rule such as waiting on a transplant you might need one then. If it was truly a need and not to be "cool "then I would have no problem giving mine one as well. Just say NO parents please,we by purchasing these adult toys for the kids contributes to the problem of "status". Somethings one should have to wait for like voting, drinking,driving. Sorry kids but if being popular is so important, look to being a nerd because they are IN right now too and will then make the dollars to buy one of your own (not the nerd lol). There are phones everywhere you go just make sure they have change for a call. Kids should always be where they say they are, in case of emergency. Not as much fun but less expensive.

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  35. Ally

    I'm 20 something. I got my first cell at 18 and it was for contacting purposes. I lived with my mom who was sick and I worked 2hrs from home so it was a good way for her to contact me. After a while friends would often call and it would be annoying and a waste of my "pay as you go" airtime. Finally for 3 years I lived without a cellphone. Now I'm married and have kids, my husband and I share a cellphone. Whoever leaves the house takes the phone. They are useful for incidences like mine but example if my daughter had no good reason to own a phone other than to text or call her friends she sees every day at school….not unless she bought and paid for it herself but any parent paying for their childs social life is stupid.

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  36. Alicia

    I am 17 and the only reason we (my husband and I) have a cell phone is because as I neared my 9th month of being pregnant we thought it would be a good thing to have. I have never had a cell phone before this and our phone is pay as you go, so it's no issue with cost. I wouldn't know how to text message with it, that is something I have never done, and I am quite good with a computer. Seeing teens on phones all the time makes me sad, what happened to "in person"? Plus not having a cell phone allows you the ability NOT to be reached anytime by anyone, which is great. By far I belive if your job/business requires you to carry a cellphone so be it, but otherwise people are deluding themselves into beieving they NEED a cell phone…which is absurd. When a study comes out to tell me you'll die without one then I will apologize.

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  37. Aaron

    Hey Tiffany, You might want to look into your facts about cell phones being to expensive in canada and that there is a class-action-lawsuit against them for being expenseive. The law suit is for the network charge on the bills that the companies charge. At one time the CIRB (Canadian Industrial Relations Board) allowed this as a mandatory fee when cell phones were first available to the public to help pay for maintenance of cell networks. But now that the companies are so profitable the CIRB does not enforce the charge. So the lawsuit is for these charges over the years that the companies have said they were mandatory but were not!

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  38. Laura

    Sadly, it seems teens are losing the ability to interact with their peers face to face. Be it texting on your cell, chatting on Facebook or MSN Messenger, etc. I have 2 daughters and it seems whenever there is a conflict with a friend that person hides behind their cellphone rather than resolving a problem face-to-face. What ever happened to using a home phone, payphone or talking to a someone in person. Like some comments above, they are a necessity for safety reasons but if you need to speak to someone do it face-to-face.

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  39. Kim

    Well I am 24 now and when I was in high school I hardly knew anyone that had a cell phone. None of my friends or I did and we actually saw each other in person rather than sending electronic messages all the time. Somehow we lived without them. I remember back then all the media about cell phones being bad for your health and possibly having connections with brain cancer. I guess everyone has since forgotten about that though. There are also studies about hearing loss in the ear your hold your phone too. Also I can't believe those stories about teens texting and driving. That is the most stupid and immature thing I've heard of. Obviously if kids have no control like that and a phone becomes an adiction then they are not mature enough to handle owning one. Also I think parents shouldn't pay the bill for their kids because then the kids just take advantage of them and rack up huge bills which is not fair to parents. As for me, I never had a cell phone until one year ago when there was a problem with my home phone line and I was forced to get one. In the first month of having one though I wanted to cancel it because of all the problems with my provider (Rogers)and things not working right and bills being messed up but eventually when I complained enough they gave me special deals and discounts. When I lost my phone once they actually sent me another one free when I had bugged them enough because of all the hassels they had put me through before. I must admit I do like the convenience of having one with me where I am because I'm hardly ever home and used to miss calls all the time. I only use it for inportant calls though, not just text messaging silly things that waste time. I'm still concerned about the possible negative health effects though. I'll be glad when my stupid three year contract is up so I'll have the freedom to choose how I want to communicate in the future.

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  40. A

    I'm an 19 year old university student and I could live without my phone. I've had a cell phone since I was in elementary school, not because I wanted one but because my parents me wanted to. My parents are overprotective and wanted me to have a cell phone so that they could always get in thouch with me. I rarely call out on my cell phone I only recieve incoming calls from my parents or work. I would leave my cell phone off for days at a time if it didn't cause my parents to panic. I told my parents that if they want to keep tabs on me then they have to pay the bill – they do, and I'm surprised none of my other siblings have told them the same thing. I don't think anyone really needs a cell phone,being able to be reached all the time is a pain it takes away from our freedom.

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  41. Kelly

    Would people stop using "quotes". You can just say teen, without quoting it, and people understand what a teen is. Do you make finger quotes when you talk?

    To the topic of discussion, just because we didn't have cell phones as kids, is no reason for kids to not have them now. Our parents didn't have computers, but we did. It's just technology evolving.

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  42. Joshua- not to be confused with that other guy

    I seem to recall that the article was asking what cell phone features people find the most important. I fail to understand why the comments seemed to have devolved into a battle of whether or not teens deserve to have them. Like it or not, cell phones are here to stay, and I personally doubt that teens (or there parents) will stop buying them in the near future.

    What feature do I feel is the most important part of my cellphone? Being able to phone other people. There are times when you need to call somebody and there is no land line available (such as calling on a bus to say you've been delayed by an hour). That's when a cellphone comes in handy, in my opinion.

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  43. Briana

    Hey, Ash, I'm 18, so I'm not some old fogey who doesn't know what she's talking about. Lack of cellular devices, I promise, will not make you a social outcast…

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  44. skibunny

    Interesting comments. Remember who developed the technology for cell phones, etc. – the "old guys and girls" that some young people deem techno-illiterates just because they don't have all the new gadgets. They have had all sorts of new gadgets and some just aren't novel or a priority!

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  45. Kane

    I agree that teenagers don't actually *need* a cellphone, but in case something happens while they're out with their friends or in case the parents are worried about them, then cellphones can come in handy. I don't have a cellphone, but if I did, I would only use it to be connected with my parents when I go out with my friends and such.

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