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!

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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

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.

School

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.

Messaging

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: 1407
Language level: 

Discussion

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

Comments

august_june's picture
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august_june 25 August, 2013 - 14:03

I have a mobile phone, but honestly, I only use it to check what time is it..haha :)
Nowadays, people use social networking websites on their mobile phones so much! It's not very good, especially for teenagers. Some of them use phones while learning and I don't really think they can concentrate on what they are doing.

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55 users have voted.
fianeso's picture
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fianeso 20 August, 2013 - 13:15

I think that is a good idea ,for exemple in Algeria the teenagers are using the mobile phones all the day
So if the parents confiscat the mobile phone of their children to punish them ,they will understand the lesson and will not repeat there errors.

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52 users have voted.
IvaParker's picture
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IvaParker 4 August, 2013 - 16:01

Well,I think confiscating a teen's phone as a punishment for poor behavior is not a good idea because it doesn't solve the problem.It just makes it worse. - I think phone is good ?? Is yes ...the problem is over ...

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59 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 2 August, 2013 - 12:10

oh, that is terrible Ren. But I do not think that this is true either for prestigious companies such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia or Sony that are making the progress in the world.
BUT anyways if this happens these companies must take the highest punishment

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60 users have voted.
Ren's picture
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Ren 1 August, 2013 - 07:45

Your phone is made by the poor children work with lowpaid or unpaid in dangerous coltan mines in East Africa. Because of this reason, now I don't use my smartphone more.

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60 users have voted.
Ren's picture
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Ren 1 August, 2013 - 07:40

As you can see, mobile phones have lots of advantages. Firstly, you can stay in touch with your friends and your relatives. Secondly, they are really helpful in emergencies. What is more, the mobile phone industry gives job for hundred people around the world. On the other hand, they can find some serious disadvantages: some people use phone when driving, walking, crossing the street and this can cause accidents. They often throw the old phones away, so mountains of toxic waste is made.

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52 users have voted.
andynghia02's picture
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andynghia02 1 August, 2013 - 02:17

I have a cellphone. I use a lot of things there. Everyday, I send some text messages to my friends. Sometimes, I use it for calling someone when I need help. But I know that girls send more text messages than boys but some of the persons just like me have Iphone, Smartphone and anything but in our school in this Vietnam we can't use it and in the exam. Well be careful with you mobile phones. Thanks for comment me today.

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53 users have voted.
kenguyenvmg's picture
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kenguyenvmg 29 July, 2013 - 11:36

everyone need phone because it take us nearly more. We can call with each other even we are in diffference country. But we shouldn't forgot main work of us is learn

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49 users have voted.
chandradharita's picture
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chandradharita 27 July, 2013 - 17:09

I think it is based on how people use their phone. If we use our mobile phone wisely, it would be very helpful to have them. In reverse, if we use our mobile phone just for fun such as chatting or playing games only without take advantages from it, then it would be our enemy which can give badness to us. So, don't need to banned mobile phones at school.

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46 users have voted.
action_FBI's picture
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action_FBI 26 July, 2013 - 14:45

I like mobile phones just for two things 1- whats app and like it 2- for telling my parents what is happening to me
if i am going somewhere with my friends or they need me to bring them stuff.
But in my opinion i like laptops more than mobile phones it can do every thing games, communications, movies, video, songs, studying and home-works.

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55 users have voted.
yougataga's picture
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yougataga 22 July, 2013 - 20:17

i see that searching to knows the source of teen's problems and solve it by communication witch them is much good than confisking their phone

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49 users have voted.
happiness_di's picture
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happiness_di 21 July, 2013 - 22:42

And I also don't think that confiscating mobile phones is a good idea... Because some teenagers can't imagine their life without texting, visiting social networks etc. That's bad. But if parents confiscate it from their child, they can provoke from their child anger. And that's bad too.
For poor behavior they should decide this problem in another way
P.S. but for some children I think it would be perfect method to improve their behavior, I mean confiscating phones :)

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47 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 22 July, 2013 - 09:13

Hi happiness_di,
The exercises don't work on your iPad because they are Flash exercises. Flash is not compatible on any Apple products. :( We are in the process of adapting all our exercises into a new format that will work on Apple products too. :)
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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61 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 22 July, 2013 - 05:47

Hi Sarah K,
The last paragraph looks at 'text talk' - these are short forms that people use when they are sending text messages. It's like a short 'code' so you don't have to type as many words. Do you use text talk in your language too?
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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55 users have voted.
learnerfromtr's picture
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learnerfromtr 18 July, 2013 - 16:58

Great article!

In my opinion, confiscating a teenager's mobile phone as a punishment is not a good idea. Parents can solve their childrens' bad behaviour in a different way so that they do not do the same mistake over and over. But, this different way should not be confiscating properties that teens have. There is always an method to solve problems related to family (I think :).

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55 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 17 July, 2013 - 19:14

My parents are going to buy me a smartphone and I am so happy.
But they are preparing me for his "risks" so far. For example they say me not to give my number to everyone but just to the people I know well, if sb call me with an unknown number I should tell them and not be upset and I should not expose it everywhere because someone can steal it.
But I do not care for these advice right now, I just want my smartphone.

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59 users have voted.
SARAH K's picture
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SARAH K 17 July, 2013 - 09:36

No I do not think that is a good idea. It makes the children feel threatened by their own parents because they take from them sth that they really want. I do not find this the best way. I wish my parents will never do this to me.

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117 users have voted.
Vlatko234's picture
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Vlatko234 16 July, 2013 - 17:08

I think it's not good idea.I'm teenager and think in these years phones is useful,but not always.Some teenagers spent a lot of time on phone.

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125 users have voted.

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