The use of cell phones has become a necessity and a common phenomenon among teenagers and even younger children; with the majority of adults keeping cell phones to remain accessible, the teenagers use those to communicate with peers. Conversations on cell phones and short message texting can become a distraction to teenagers allowing them not to concentrate on school, home or church, and this prompts parents to question whether teenagers should be permitted to use cell phones or not. However, there are numerous benefits in the society that are associated with allowing teenagers to own cell phones.Previously, teenagers had remained behind adults in the ownership of cell phones. However, according to the survey data that was collected by the Pew Internet and American Life Project from 2004 (Lenhart page), the teenagers between ages 12-17 are closing the gap in cellular phone ownership. The survey indicated that 45% of teenagers owned a cell phone, and the ownership had steadily increased among the teens aged 12 to 17 to about 63% by 2006 and then to 71% in 2008. Comparatively, 77 percent of all adults owned a cell phone or other mobile gargets at a similar period in 2008. This percentage has since increased to 85%, based on the results of survey conducted in April 2009.Currently, more people own cell phones and it has become a part of human life. The owners of cell phones include also students of all ages, and approximately 78% of all teens presently own a cell phone. With the improvement of technology, the teenagers have become digital natives to an extent that 47% of teenagers can write text messages with their eyes closed, better than adults. This paper looks at the background information concerning the development of cell phones, the common uses of the cell phones by the teenagers, issues surrounding the ownership of cell phones by the teens, the general advantages and limitations of using cell phones by the teenagers both in school and outside school.
Owing to the people’s desire to conveniently communicate with each other while being at home, in offices, or in a car without the connection of the popular copper wire that enslaved people, the search for a mobile form was intensified up until April 3, 1973, when Martin Cooper who was the general manager of the Motorola's Communications Systems division then, successfully managed to place a call, while moving across several streets of New York to determine the strength of the radio signals (Arraycomm). This was the fulfillment of his vision to own a personal wireless phone that gave the freedom to communicate irrespective of the location and distance. The phone was, however, big in size to the tune of 30 ounce almost to a brick size. Cooper then started the 10-year process of developing a portable and smaller cell phone for the market, and by 1983, Motorola produced the 16-ounce DynaTAC phone for commercial service, with each item costing $3,500 to buy. Seven years later, there were a million users of cell phones that were weighing lower than 3 ounces in the United States (Arraycomm). Currently, millions of people in the world cheaply acquire cell phones as it became affordable even to the students and teenagers.