According to the latest studies, at least 75% of US teens own their own mobile phone, and with the modern smartphone in play, these devices are a great deal more than just a phone for texting or talking. Most mobile phones now have the capacity to function like a mini computer, with fast internet connection, videos, texting, games, email, pictures, and really apps for almost anything. There are of course claims that this almost insistent availability of media provided to the youth can have a negative impact. However it does come with many positive advantages, which might consist of -
Communication - one of the most significant benefits to the mobile phone for the youth is their ability to always be easy to contact. Having the option of using a mobile if a difficult situation should arise is always a great advantage. Also, from the parent's point of view, it gives great piece of mind in knowing that a child is always easy to communicate with.
Security - for the youth, having instant access to a mobile phone is highly desirable in an emergency situation and might well make a significant different in a life or death situation. For the less serious situation, such as locking themselves out of the home, it will be quite simple to get in contact with the parents and ask for help. Also, the mobile phone can be used as an effective tracking device, which means should the need arise; it would be possible for the police to track the precise location of the child via the phones signal.
Engagement - a mobile phone has also been effective in its use as a tool for connecting youth in rural areas or developing counties, where access to landline phones or the internet might not yet be available. In these areas with limited connectivity, the mobile phone is being put to great use to let the youth connect with the world at large. Allowing them to gain access to information they might not otherwise have access too.
Time Management - it is also possible to use a youths desire to own a mobile phone by encouraging self-discipline, the correct us of communication devices, and also social etiquette. Have in place a set limit of text messages and talk time and have them stick to those limits. If a teen is able to abide by these rules, you can of course reward them. This is often an effective step to help a youth learn to keep an agreement and also prioritize their time.
Find out more about the world of youth mobile culture here: http://www.mobileyouth.org/the-book