I Learned It From You, Dad, I Learned From Watching You

from the this-is-your-brain-on-text-messages dept

A hard-hitting new study — with a sample size of 33 — has found that American kids are so dependent on their mobile phones these days that not having one for a day was “was tantamount to sacrificing an appendage.” It doesn’t seem too surprising that kids are tied to their phones, and we’ve seen these “I’ll die without my phone” stories before. Furthermore, is it really that surprising that kids are so attached to their phones when Mommy and Daddy can’t get in the car without calling somebody and can’t put down their BlackBerry? Saying people are addicted to technology is old hat. If things are so dire, why not teach people how to better deal with technology instead of just reveling in naming another addiction?

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Comments on “I Learned It From You, Dad, I Learned From Watching You”

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AZ (user link) says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Hey, I dont have a phone and I dont really care to have one. There teens now days guess who is paying for there bills? Thats right not them! If I get one im paying. What I get I earn. My mom and dad doesnt buy me tons of stuff cause I want it.

Really who needs one just to talk? Are they really worth 25-30 cent a minute? Some are cheaper than that but come on! I can get local calls for free and if im away leave it on the machine lol.

Truly on a serious side they are helpful in many ways but I dont have a really bad need for one. They to me just overcharge for the minutes.

Luke (user link) says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

I know. We are few and far between. Today I was with some friends and they were using it to call each other on different floors. I also don’t have an MP3 player something that almost every teen has. Heck, everyone in my family (including grandma) has a cellphone and an mp3 player. I haven’t got a need for both of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

No shit. I’m a consultant and I don’t use as much in a year as these kids use in a month! I was looking at getting a new phone, and the sales guy told me he’s sold plans to teens with 4000 minutes monthly. That’s 2.22 hours a frickin DAY. I remember my old analog startac. You’d get 15min talk time/8hr stby per charge.

e_kraft100 says:


I sometimes wonder what I’d do without my cell phone.

Truthfully I end up ignoring more of my phone calls than ansering them. I believe I miss my phone more because it is my lifline to telephone numbers. I don’t have 1/3 of the phone numbers in my address book memorized.

What happened to us to become so dependent upon technology?

Reb says:

Re: Cell Phones

yeah, I have a cell. I sue it every now and then, no more than about 30 minutes per day. Most of the time it is informative calls, real calls. Other wise, I GO to my freinds house. Its not that hard. I could easily live without my phone, and yes, I do pay for it. 40 dollars a month, not bad, but it is all I need.

Sam says:


I personally think its a generalization to say that kids don’t pay for their phones. I pay for my phone, and so do all my friends. We *teens* are so reliable on our phones because they are convenient. We pay for convenience. Also, its got our phone books, text messaging, internet, games, all sorts of stuff. And if your one of those people sitting in ur chair saying “Kids are so nieve, personally i would never pay for that kind of convenience, thats just stupid”. Think about the next time you pay $1.50 for a 20oz. bottle of water…

malhombre says:

Young people and cellphones

Note to my fellow chronological adults: don’t worry about the younger generation. They will be fine.
They are always the fastest group of people to absorb just about any thing, be it music, visual media, social upheaval, racial issues, technology, violence, drugs, religion, etc., etc., keeping the good, changing the wrong, modifying the extreme, and bringing whats left into the mainstream. It’s their brushstrokes on the big canvas.
By and large, they don’t turn out for the worst despite the seemingly overwhelming odds, and I know 18 year olds who can hold their own in any serious conversation on any topic and add fresh viewpoints that are, on occasion, stunningly valuable insights. Of course, I also know a few insufferable adults who should never say a word.
The stereotype of the gum smacking brat with a phone stuck to her ear is just another case of judging the book by the cover…sure, she exists on the surface but think back to your own youth and you might remember that nearly all of us put up some kind of front to cover our sensitivity and vulnerability, and to belong to some group (read: to have friends). And lots of us still do exactly that, right on into our senior years.
The gum smacker will likely graduate from college and live a productive life, pay taxes, donate to charity, and all that good stuff that our future stability depends on.
Technology isn’t going away and it doesn’t matter. Look how many young posters have stated here that they don’t use them, don’t feel the need to talk to anyone that much (like me, I’ve sworn them off for the same reason).
A good number of the younger kids I have spoken with carry cellphones that can only call numbers programmed by their parents, and they see this as a sort of discipline or training phase – rather than complain, they accept the limitation as appropriate for their particular age, assuming that they will “graduate” eventually to full access phones. Healthy and mature attitude.
As far as “tantamount to sacrificing an appendage” or “I’ll die without my phone” goes, kids have always used hyperbole when describing how they feel about things. It comes from an incompletely formed language framework and the strong emotions that characterize adolescence. Give them a break. I remember a certain late ’70’s Mustang “Boss 429” that I clearly stated I would kill for. Trust me, I wasn’t a murderous psychopath in the making, just an overexcited kid.

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