Technology has become such an integral part of everyone’s day to day lives. Most people use some form of smart technology every single day of their life from computers to cellphones. Most adults are well aware of how amazing and helpful this kind of technology is after spending their childhoods without it. This causes many adults to say the age old adage: Kids today don’t know how good they’ve got it.
In a way, this is very true. Kids today don’t have to go to libraries and rent books to write a paper thanks to the internet. They don’t have to go to the local video rental store to pick out a movie to watch. They don’t even have to rewind their movies when they’re done! The internet also makes it possible for kids to constantly stay connected with their friends and peers. Sadly, this last benefit does seem to be a bit problematic.
Social media can be nice, but it can also be addicting and detrimental to a person’s mental health. This is especially true for kids, which is why one lawmaker in Vermont has proposed a change how minors use cellphones.
The Problem with Cellphones
Cellphones grant a person access to the internet, and therefore the world, whenever they want it. This can be very beneficial in some instances and troublesome in others. For instance, cellphones can be very distracting while driving. If a driver looks at a phone while behind the wheel, they are paying less attention to the road in front of them. This makes it more likely for them to cause an accident with deadly consequences. This is especially true for teens who are more easily distracted.
Another issue with cellphones is that not only do they give a person constant access to the world, they also give the world constant access to the person. Thanks to social media and phone notifications, it can be hard for a person to get away from some people for a while without abandoning the phone altogether for a few hours. This is hard enough for an adult to do, since social media is addicting. Just think of how hard it is for kids to put down their phones.
When kids don’t put down their phones, they can get bombarded by messages from friends and peers at school. Sometimes, these messages aren’t nice or friendly at all. Sadly, there have been many cases where bullying at school has followed a child home through their phone and pushed that kid to the brink where they make a decision they can never come back from.
A Vermont Senator’s Response
In an effort to reduce teen driving accidents and suicides caused by cellphone usage, one Vermont lawmaker, Senator John Rodgers, has introduced a bill that would restrict cellphone usage amongst minors. The bill states that people under the age of 21 are not mature enough to own guns, smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol so they are also not mature enough to own and use cellphones.
The major talking point about this bill is how online bullying through social media, which can be accessed on cellphones, can lead to suicide. Apparently, in Vermont the legislature has recently been talking about suicide prevention and how best to protect and provide aide to people who need it.
Sen. Rodgers stated that he doesn’t expect the bill to get passed and that he probably wouldn’t vote for it himself. As a supporter of the Second Amendment, he seems to have presented the bill more as a way of showing how cellphones can be more dangerous than guns.
Should Minors Have Cellphones?
It is hard to deny how addicting cellphones can be. Even as adults who might have grown up without cellphones or social media, it can sometimes be hard to log out or put the device down. The sad thing is that adults have more self-control than minors, and so what is addicting for us is very addicting for minors. This is why kids are often glued to their phones.
This kind of behavior can be problematic for minors by exposing them to a whole lot of negative things that they may not be ready to deal with on their own. This is why parents need to be aware of what their children are doing online. They also need to make sure that their kids know that they can always come and talk to them about anything. Failing to do so could have disastrous results that no parent should ever have to deal with.
What do you think of this proposed bill in Vermont? Is it a good idea to prevent minors, anyone under 21, from having a cellphone, or is it a terrible and impractical one? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.