How Cell Phones Affect Kids' Interactions

By Sheryl Faber
Cell phones decrease distance between friends and family.
Cell phones decrease distance between friends and family.

You may be considering the purchase of a cell phone for your child. You have examined all the pros and cons of such an investment and realize that there are many ways that cell phones can make your life and your child's much simpler and more organized. Professor Barry Wellman, author of a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey on the Internet and cell phones, states that families who use cell phones to communicate effectively become their own network.

Easy Accessibility for All

Parents and children can actually become closer due to cell phone accessibility. In the middle of a football game, a benched or injured player can text his mother and immediately give her updates. Frustrations are eliminated because Mom doesn't have to drive around the school parking lot looking for her daughter after school. Even once school has started, parents can send text encouragements for tests or tryouts which their children can read during their lunch breaks or between classes if the school allows it. Cell phones give parents instant knowledge of their offspring's whereabouts and status. Children can reach their parents no matter where they are or what they are doing. Communication and family closeness is increased due to the constant flow of information between family members.

Connecting Friends and Families

Your child's best friend has just moved across town and you are concerned about how much she will miss her. After a few days, you realize that with cell phones, distance between two friends is greatly diminished. The girls can continue texting and talking with little interruption to their relationship. Tie in the access to social media on their phones, and you find that they can also be constantly updated on each other's activities and photos. Relatives such as cousins, nieces and nephews can become much closer through the constant exchange of conversations and spontaneous photos that can be sent. Long distance relationships can also be maintained much more effectively through the use of cell phones.

Safety and Security Means Peace of Mind

Cell phones can provide the safety and security a parent needs for their own peace of mind. Parents can find their offspring with a simple call and, in extreme cases, locate their youngster through the signals given off by the child's phone. A teen driver can be guided through unfamiliar neighborhoods through the phone's internal GPS system and addresses can be easily researched on the Internet.

Independence and Self-Sufficiency

Kids will interact more independently if they have cell phones in their possession. It can become their timepiece, calculator, alarm clock and daily organizer. It will reduce the day-to-day reminders by parents and teachers to finish projects, wake up on time and stay organized. Interactions with authority figures can actually be decreased through the use of cell phones.