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Weigh In Marlboro: Trendy Accessory or Necessary Evil?
01/01/2005 - By Gena Lande

At what age should kids have their own cell phone? You make the call. Residents of Marlboro did.

  There's no doubt about it: cell phones are everywhere!  Whether you're standing in line at the grocery store or sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, you're sure to hear those annoying ringtones.  Is that my phone or yours? has become the popular question these days.  When they were first introduced, cell phones were expensive status symbols used mostly by business people.  Now it is uncommon not to own one.  From moms to grandmothers to teens, probably everyone you know has a cell phone.  But how young is too young to give your children their own phone?  This question has caused quite a stir for parents.  Remember, when you give a child his/her own phone you are giving them access to the world and the world access to them.  In addition, today's cell phones are not just phones.  They are web browsers, instant messengers, e-mail terminals, and cameras.  Did you know that some gyms actually ban cell phones in the locker room because of concerns about inappropriate photographs?  Many parents are purchasing cell phones for their children as a means of staying in touch with them once the school day has ended.  In fact, it's estimated that a third of U.S. children aged 10 to 19 already have cell phones, and that number continues to grow.  In Japan more than 80 percente of Japanese high school students and 25 percent of junior high students are equipped with their own cell phones.  So what's your take on the cell phone debate?  How young is too young to have your own phone?  LIM surveyed locals for their opinion on when they think children are old enough for their own cell phone.  Here's what they had to say.  CALL OUT-- Did you know that in 2000 Marlboro became one of the first areas in the U.S to ban cell phone use while driving?  At what age do you think children should have their own cell phone?



"I thought 18, but I think it's actually better when they learn to drive so they have a cell phone to call home just in case there is an emergency.  I don't believe kids that are younger need it.  It's a waste of money and a waste of time for them.  It's not good in school either." -Carol Kirschenbaum.



"I think when they start to drive it's very important for them to have cell phones.  I also understand that in light of 911 it is important for kids to keep their cell phones in emergencies to get in touch with their parents.  Being a supervisor in the New York City Board of Ed., I know how important it is for parents to keep in touch with their kids  It would say 13 or 14 would be the right age and definitely when they start to drive." -Larry Siegel.



"I don't think kids should have cell phones until they are 18 because until that age they don't need to have a car therefore they don't need to have a cell phone.  Mostly at that age their parents are taking care of everything, including the bill." -Izzy Prupis.



"My two boys got their cell phones at age 11 for communication and safety reasons.  When they were out that was my only way of finding them, communicating with them, and keeping them safe." -Karen Cain.



"I would say somewhere between the ages of 14 and 15 , when kids start maturing and going out at night.  I believe at that point children need to have contact with their parents and access to communication." --Scott K.



"My kids got cell phones when they were between 11 and 12.  Mostly because it's the only way I can keep track of all three of them.  I need them to call me when they need me." -Aliza Marques.



"I would say when kids are old enough to go to their friends' houses.  At 13 they should have a cell phone for safety reasons and to check in with their parents."-Kenny Berger.



"15 because that's when they are going out more.  I think it a good idea to have cell phones for safety reasons.  This way they can check in and more importantly I would know where they are." -Karen Berger.



"Maybe 16 or 17, when they first get their license, in case of emergencies when they are driving.  I had my first cell phone at 17." -Deanna Vautassell.



"I think kids should have cell phones when they are old enough to understand the importance of them.  That would probably be around 16 or 17 years old.  Also when they are responsible enough to pay their own bills." -Lenny Resser.



"I would say 14 because that is when they start high school and they usually start going out to the malls.  This could be a way for their parents to get a hold of them." -Diane Gwasda.



"They should get cell phones when they start college and are independent so they can pay their own bill." -Anita Gupta.  "I would say 16.  They don't need them younger than that.  They are not driving before that time." -Marlena Kolodziej.



"Any age when the kids are allowed to leave the house.  I would say 13 would be a good age." -Mike Troutman.



"I'm not sure if I can say an exact age.  I think it depends on each individual child and the situation they are in." -Jordan Kamus.



"16...I think cell phones have become too much of a  habit with the young generation  They seem to spend most of their time on a cell phone.  There needs to be some limitations.  Obviously, cell phones are a good way for parents to know where their kids are but I think it's gotten out of hand.  I just gt my phone for my birthday last year when I turned 33." -Tommy Dakouvanos.



"Honestly, I'm 40 and we grew up without cell phones and I turned out just fine.  There's really no need for them at all.  I do not have a cell phone and I never intend to get one." -Marc Aggerman.



"I would say the ideal age for owning your own cell phone would be 17 years old.  That is when kids are spending more time outside the house and going out at night.  I don't think there is anything wrong with a 17-year-old having a cell phone." -Susan Randall.



"When a child enters high school for mainly going out. It's a great way for parents to know where you are or where they can find you.  Before high school, I think, is a little young.  My brother's friends, who are in 7th grade all have cell phones.  What would they possibly be. talking about at that age?  I got my cell phone when I was 14-years old."  -Lindsey Griesbach.



"17.  Though, there should be a cell phone etiquette class before being allowed to own a cell phone.  These kids who drive and talk on the phone are hazards to the roads." -Joyce Depue.




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