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Cell Phone Rules: Why Adults Need An Intervention

By Danielle Sullivan |

Cell Phone Rules: Why Adults Need An Intervention

A familiar scene in modern day life

What are your cell phone family rules?  I have a few of my own basic rules for my kids. First of all, they won’t get a phone – any phone – until junior high when they are out on their own. If they want a smartphone of any kind, they can get one when they have a job and can pay for the extra charges themselves. Since a regular phone can send texts and makes calls, and they have a computer at home, I don’t see the need to provide a smartphone. But if they want to work for one, go for it. I remind my kids to not walk and text blindly out in the street and guard their phones, especially on the train, but that’s about it.

Lately, however I’m starting to think I should institute some more family rules because every time I talk to my oldest, she is half-listening while attached to her phone. So it didn’t surprise me at all when I read about a study that says a having a cell phone in the room with you makes you feel less close to the person you’re with.

And it isn’t just kids and teens that have bad cell phone etiquette; adults are worse. How many times have you been out with a friend or in a meeting when someone has to take a call or send a quick text in the middle of your conversation?

I admit I usually have my phone with me at all times, but I try not to check it when I’m talking with someone. Still, I’ve had my days too where I’m typing away at my computer, trying to finish up a bit of work or shoot off an email while my kids are telling me something. In couples, the annoyance can be even worse because always picking up your phone does take something away from your time with each other, even if you’re just watching TV together. In adult public situations, it’s unnerving. Last night at a PTA meeting, the teacher just began talking about what would take place in 5th grade this year and three parents were texting away directly in front of her. So rude.

Image: iStock

Tell us in the comments below: What’s your policy on cell phone rules for your family? Do you think that the mere presence of a cell phone takes away from the closeness between two people? Does it infuriate you when your lunch mate places their phone on the table in case they get a call?


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About Danielle Sullivan


Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Cell Phone Rules: Why Adults Need An Intervention

  1. goddess says:

    My olodest got a cell when he was 16, got a job and kept it long enough to pay for the early termination fee, in case he lost that job (which he had to keep up his grades, or he’d lose). Happy to say, at age 22, I haven’t had to pay his cell phone bill yet- and he’s never left one job without having another lined up, nor without giving a proper notice & resignation, I might add.
    Now, with the 2 younger- they are in 6th and 8th. I can actually see myself getting a *go-phone* with just voice and text- and having it as the family emergency phone- with so that when they are at school events or out somewhere, they can contact me. And I think it might make *me* feel better knowing they can a little earlier than 16.
    But a phone with bells , whistles and data? That *will* wait until they can pay for it-
    Rules- no phones at the table, unless you are on call from an employer. And if you start texting while I am talking, I WILL quit talking and look at you intently until you get the message. Or I might just get up and leave if you don’t.

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