How much do you love your mobile phone? Could you live without it? Find out what British teenagers, parents and teachers say about the subject!


How old were you when you got a mobile? Everybody knows that teenagers love their phones. Here are some mobile phone facts.

  •  Two-thirds of 12-15-year-olds in the UK have a smartphone.
  •  People in the UK send 50 text messages a week on average.
  •  British 12-15-year-olds send an average of 200 messages a week.
  •  British girls aged between 12 and 15 text more than boys of the same age group. Girls send 221 messages a week!


Parents want their kids to be safe. Are teenagers safer with a mobile phone or without? Many parents want their children to have a phone so that they can be in contact at any time or in any place. On the other hand, for lots of parents a phone is a source of possible danger. Parents worry that their child may meet the wrong kind of ‘friends’ on social networking sites or that they might receive cruel messages from school bullies. Some parents have rules about their children’s mobile phone and internet usage and bad behaviour can result in removal of mobile privileges. 

The great thing about my kids having mobile phones is that I can keep in touch with them. The worst thing about teenagers having phones is that some young people use them to send offensive messages to each other.
William, from Coventry. William is a parent of two teenagers.

A teenager feels lost without a phone. If my daughters behave badly, I confiscate their phones and their behaviour quickly improves.
Kiera, mother of 15-year-old twins.


Mobile phones are permitted at school in the UK but pupils are not allowed to use them in class and they must be on silent during lessons. Teachers can take away phones if these rules are broken. School students can use their phones at break time and at lunchtime. Some teachers in British schools complain that pupils don’t always follow the rules and that lessons are disrupted by people texting, making and receiving calls, looking at social networking sites, watching videos and even making videos in the class.

My mum is scared that I’m going to lose my phone or that someone is going to steal it. She won’t buy me the really cool phone that I want. I’ve got this rubbish one that doesn’t do much. I suppose that makes sense but it’s not fair that everyone else has a smartphone and I don’t.
Tam, 14, from Wrexham.

I know that some people want mobiles to be banned at school but as a language teacher I find that phones can be pretty useful in class ... for educational purposes of course. For example, the students write a dialogue in French, they record it on a phone, then they listen to the recording and try to correct any mistakes or improve pronunciation. They love it!
Stan, from Chester. Stan is a French teacher.


A mobile phone contract in the UK usually comes with a number of text messages included in the price. Of course lots of people send messages completely free of charge using an app that’s also free to download. If you want to send text messages in English you need to know some abbreviations. Here are some to get you started:

LOL = laugh out loud
POS = parent over shoulder
BRB = be right back
TYVM = thank you very much
BCNU = be seeing you (meaning ‘goodbye’)
ASAP = as soon as possible
OIC = oh I see (means ‘I understand’)
TTFN = Ta ta for now (means ‘goodbye')
BFFL= best friends for life

TYVM 4 reading this article. BCNU!

Total votes: 1406
Language level: 


Some parents confiscate their teenager's phone as a punishment for poor behaviour. Is that a good idea? What's your opinion?


Tavito's picture
Tavito 5 November, 2015 - 16:11

I am agree, because the teenagers have technostress and they are tired all the time and they are bad communicators with their families. They need social life but in the real world.

34 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 5 November, 2015 - 16:12

Hi Tavito,
I like the term 'techno-stress'! 
Great comments coming in today on this page. We're enjoying reading them all. Keep up the good work! 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

33 users have voted.
PerfectLS's picture
PerfectLS 5 November, 2015 - 16:08

I think it's not a good idea because a bad example for them. I think, the fathers can find other way to punishment their soons but confiscate their phones, I say no.
It's like a dog, you can bring a punishment but the dog never learn the lection. Punishment with punishment is not a good election

33 users have voted.
RuthHuancaCOART's picture
RuthHuancaCOART 5 November, 2015 - 16:06

To, my point of view, the idea isn't good. Because instead of giving him a lesson.By removing the phone to their children.They are causing their children rebel, is better talk to them and reflect their children every day with the phone is bad

32 users have voted.
Gabriela_15's picture
Gabriela_15 5 November, 2015 - 16:03

I don´t agere with this. In my opinion, I don´t think that this is the right thing, i believe that the best way for resolve this situation is the communication between parents and children, and so improve the attitudes and correct errors.

33 users have voted.
marycoartacna's picture
marycoartacna 5 November, 2015 - 15:51

I think, that it is a good idea to remove the cell phone to teenagers, but on the other hand think that it is wrong, accustom to give them something as a reward.

23 users have voted.
Jaenmy04's picture
Jaenmy04 5 November, 2015 - 15:37

I think that use movie phones with responsibility is good, but the young use for play game doesn´t educational or send message between they

25 users have voted.
LEITO's picture
LEITO 5 November, 2015 - 14:23

Sorry, but I don't agree with you.In my opinion this is not a good idea.
I think that parents should talk with their children. Parents should teach their child how to use it properly the mobile phone.

23 users have voted.
Sandra_3MSC's picture
Sandra_3MSC 5 November, 2015 - 14:17

Well, in my opinion I think is a bad idea that parents confiscate their children's phones, because that sometimes causes their children to get angry with them, and I think that the best way to correct the bad behavior of their children is first of all talk to them and ask them why they act as well.

22 users have voted.