OK, fine. I'll admit it. I don't care who many of you tech heads out there make fun of me.
I...(sigh)...I was 22 before I ever got my...(ragged breath)...first cell phone.
I know! I know! How did I ever survive? Especially considering that was only five years ago and even my grandmother had one before I did. But it's true. I just never had the money to afford one and quite frankly, didn't feel an urgent need to get one.
This little personal tidbit about me is even more amazing considering that according to the Telegraph, the average age most kids get their first cell phone (at least in the UK) is eight. Eight! Second graders are texting away, calling their friends and are completely wired.
"More than a third of children (35 per cent) own a mobile by the time they are that age, the charity Personal Finance Education Group discovered. Its survey also found that three-quarters of all children aged seven to 15 owned 'at least' one mobile."
Personally, I have a feeling the U.S. numbers aren't much different.
Other discoveries in the UK survey were:
-Children as young as seven were offering to do chores in exchange for cash to buy ringtones.
-By the age of 10, children were shopping online using their parents' debit or credit cards.
-32 per cent of children have used the Internet to buy computer games.
-A quarter of the 546 children surveyed have voted in television competitions, a la "American Idol" (which can often cost £1 or more to enter).
-Only 18 per cent have bought a book online.
Man, these British kids today, I tell you. Not that I can say too much. I may have been a late bloomer but now that the wired up web has snagged me, I'm constantly texting, emailing, twittering, updating statuses on Facebook and Myspace, blogging, instant messaging, etc, etc.
It's a dangerous slope once you get that first cell phone. While it's a nice tool for parents to keep in contact with their kids during emergencies, before you know it they are sending out over 6,000 texts a month (according to this Washington Post story).
At 8-years-old, I was too busy climbing trees and beating up boys to worry about who was trying to get in contact with me. Is all this technology at such a young age taking away the freedom of childhood?
I hope not.
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