Call for minimum age of 14 to own cellphones

The Press 31/10/2009

Teenagers who prefer texting to talking have driven some parents to call for a minimum cellphone ownership age of 14. “Parents are worried teenagers are losing the ability to properly communicate with eye-to-eye contact,” said Shanti Ravichandran, of Auckland’s Unitec, who has surveyed parents’ attitudes to teenage cellphone use. She said the use of text language was “overpowering” among teenagers, with some even using it in school examinations. Ravichandran, a Master of Computing graduate, said 52 per cent of the 115 parents or caregivers she surveyed felt there should be a minimum age of 14 for cellphone ownership.