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!


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

Language level: 


pikalochka's picture
pikalochka 26 June, 2013 - 19:58

of course, mobile phone is one of the greatest invention and is very useful. But often teens get so addicted to them. they cant live without texting, chatting on-line, serfing the Net. and lots of teens are getting used to downloading homeworks from certain sites. But if I was asked to vote I would say "yes!!" for phones. TYVM 4 this article.

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Ren's picture
Ren 1 August, 2013 - 07:54

I agree with you because I think that when you are talking with someone, the worst thing is you always look at your mobile phone for texting. Really impolite.

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merlin's picture
merlin 26 June, 2013 - 14:22

I think this is a great idea . I am a teen ,i have a phone but i use it only when i go out with my friends to keep in touch with my parents or to listen music but those who are droged by the phone they have a poor behaviour as i can see it at some of my friends and taking the phone it s the right punshiment but not for all for them who deserve it .

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Malambrano's picture
Malambrano 26 August, 2013 - 21:27

Well, I think that's the truth, you know because we always want to have the last phone, with a lof of apps and after that we are droged and that's too bad for us, and for our communication

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Jona's picture
Jona 26 June, 2013 - 13:41

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.

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vidoka's picture
vidoka 21 December, 2013 - 10:25

i agree i mean sometimes if you take their phone and later give it back they will just spend extra time to make up for the time they didnt have it making parents take it again for spending to much time on it.It is more likely that they would just text a lot more telling friends why they didnt talk to them and it isnt fixing the problem parents should find another way to punish teens instead of taking away their phone

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