English Composition I
TEENS AND CELL PHONES: A RECIPE FOR DISASTER
In 2008, CTIA and Harris Interactive conducted a survey of 2,000 teenagers across the United States. The survey revealed that four out of five teenagers own a cell phone; they are considered a necessary accessory and a symbol of status among teens. Nearly half of kids who own cell phones get their first one between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, according to the Neilson Company. (1) While cell phones may be perceived as the key to a teen’s social life, the reality is that cell phones represent such a serious health and safety risk for teens that they should be banned from teens until the age of 18. The use of cell phones among teens allows them to harm themselves through inappropriate use, especially through the use of video and camera features. Additionally, cell phone use among teens while driving rivals alcohol use as a cause of automobile accidents. Some parents claim their children have cell phones because it makes them safer. It is clear that the dangers far outweigh any benefits.
In 2008, in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania, nineteen teens were prosecuted for felony sex crimes, when a teen transmitted inappropriate pictures of 12-year-old girls to a group of his friends. (2) In La Crosse, Wisconsin, a 17-year-old boy was prosecuted on charges of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child, when he posted nude pictures of his 16-year-old girlfriend on his MySpace page. (3) He had gotten the photos from his girlfriend; she had taken them with her cell phone camera. Two lives and reputations were seriously damaged in this case. There have been similar cases across the country, including another group of 18 teenagers in Castle Rock, Colorado. The boy from Wisconsin didn’t know he was breaking the law; which speaks quite loudly to the fact that children should not be in possession of tools, like cell phones, that make this sort of thing so easy for...