We’ll have phone, phone, phone
[‘til your daddy takes your cellphone away]
CELLPHONES OFFER so many advantages to be
grateful for: emergency contact when a car breaks
down, the ability to look up directions and even the
ability to take fairly high-quality photos. But one area
with more than its share of negatives is cellphone
usage among teenagers. Many of the problems fall
into one of the following four categories.
More and more teenagers are sending explicit
photos and racy texts to one another. According to the
National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned
Pregnancy, roughly 20 percent of teens 13 to 19 years
old have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves
via text messages. Fight Back! encourages you, the
adult consumer, to inform yourself on what you can do
to prevent things like this from happening.
Don’t be afraid to partner with the cellphone company and limit the capabilities on your teenager’s
phone. You can always remove the ability to send/
receive photos, if need be.
I’M PLANNING to short
sell my house. I bought my
house in June 2006. Will
this affect my credit score?
If so, how many points
would be deducted from
my credit score for a short
sale? I’m planning to pay
the mortgage and other
bills for the house until it
Probably the most widespread problems come
from charges for sending text messages. According to
a study in The Washington Post, the age group most
likely to send and receive text messages are people
between the ages of 13 and 24. That’s a fairly large
demographic, and many of its members are still
dependents. It is also hugely profitable for cellphone
companies to charge for additions that are geared
toward the interests of teens (downloading music,
checking Facebook, etc.).
Don’t be shocked; be informed. If your child has
set up his or her phone to be Internet connected or if
your child sets up instant messaging to be linked to
the phone, there are separate charges for that, according to a report by ABCnews.com.
You have the power to call the cellphone provider
and block any applications from your child’s phone
that cost money and/or that you deem inappropriate.
Check your bill and be aware of your charges.
Loma Linda, California
Another staggering trend is using text messages
to cheat on tests. Nearly one out of three teens are
using mobile devices to obtain test answers. What’s
more, according to a 2009 study by U.S. News and
World Report, “Nearly 1 in 4 students thinks that
accessing notes on a cell phone, texting friends with
answers, or using a phone to search the Internet for
answers during a test isn’t cheating.”
Teachers are starting to respond to this trend.
According to the same study by U.S. News and World
Report, “even as teens advance their electronic cheat-
ing strategies, educators are beginning to fight back
with their own anti-cheating technologies, such as
text-matching software, biometric equipment, virtual
students, and cheat-proof tests.”
Finally, inform your teenager about
the staggering risks of texting (or even
just talking on the phone) while driving. Four out of five accidents happen because of distracted drivers.
The number-one distraction is
using a cellphone while driving.
In fact, texting while driving
is six times more likely
to cause an accident than
driving while intoxicated,
according to the Transportation Safety Group
at the National Safety
Council. Teen drivers are
four times more likely to
get in an accident while
texting and driving than
adult drivers are.
The numbers and
the facts are there; be informed when it comes to
your teenager’s cellphone
habits. If you don’t inform
yourself and your teen
about the risks, the bill
won’t be the only thing
that leaves you feeling
The experts say the term
“short sale” does not actually
appear on a credit report. It
is a phrase used to describe
negotiating with the lender
to sell a house for less than is
owed on the mortgage and
for the lender to then con-
sider the account closed.
The operative words are
“not full amount.” That indi-
cates you didn’t repay
the mortgage in
full as originally
agreed. This likely
would be viewed
remain. If you
have missed pay-
ments, it is probably
already having a seri-
ous impact on your
establishing a history
of strong credit man-
agement with on-time
payments is the only
way to really restore your
good credit scores.
The scariest cellphone trend is a form of communication called “sexting.” Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs
electronically, primarily between mobile phones.
© 2010 FIGHT BACK! INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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