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“Just a second, Mom”
“I’m almost done, Mom.“
“I’m coming, Mom.”

How many times have we said these words when our parents ask us something and we are using our phones?

Many? … More than “many” I would say.

In Peru, my home, the most common expressions that teenagers use when talking to their parents while using their phones are: “Un toque, ma”; “Ya voy”; “Ya mamá, ahorita acabo”. But time can go by and the “I’m almost done, mom” never ends.

Hours can pass before we realize that our parents were asking us to do something, to answer something, and this is when punishments arise. This is when our dear mommy becomes another human being, an ogre who spits out fire and threatens to “take away that stupid device.”

You might be wondering how do I know these things occur, well, I am also a teenager. A 16-year-old girl who has recently understood the danger my generation is exposed to through the misuse of cell phones.

The famous BlackBerrys that were once used solely by people who truly needed them are now as common as a pair of socks on a cold Monday morning.

BlackBerrys or BBs have become the new teenager’s “BFF” and an exiting new trend to follow because they look “cool”. Teenagers are now doing almost everything with their BBs: Some sleep with them, others called them their baby and others depend on this little device so much that they can’t stand the thought of living without it.

But why? Why, why, why, why?

Well, because BBs are highly addictive.

According to the NYU Child Research Center, 80% of adolescents posses at least one form of media access, specifically cell phone devices. This has lead to an increase in the use of multi-tasking, where a child believes he is capable of doing homework while instant messaging through his phone.

REALLY?

Multi-tasking? Listening while texting with a BB?

WAKE UP teenagers! This is I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.

No one, and listen carefully, NO ONE can multi-task because all your attention, whether you like it or not, will go to one of the two activities you are performing.

If you don’t believe me think of this scenario:

You are in your room. As usual, your BFF is on and you’re texting with a friend who you haven’t seen for almost three days because he was out sick. In front of you there is a beautiful English novel that you have to read and an essay to your right that you have to complete. My dear teenager, which one would you dedicate the greatest part of your attention?

Exactly.

Between homework and gossiping with your friends, friends win. They always win.

So whenever your parents ask: “Honey, what you are doing? Are you doing homework?” and you’re using your BB while pretending to do homework please don’t tell them: “Mom, of course, I’m multi-tasking” because we all know that what you’re actually doing is texting with your phone and ignoring everything else.

It’s true though that this “cool machine” has many gadgets that are highly entertaining for instance What’s Up & BBM Messenger, but what we have never realized is that these fabulous gadgets create, in young minds like that of a teenager, dependence.

BBM Messenger is the best example there is. How many teenagers do we see conversing intently through their phones at school, at work and even at home?

Many?

A lot?

Thousandths?

TRILLIONS, I would say. In fact, according to RIM (a Canadian phone company) BlackBerrys have over 43 million active users worldwide, out of which 70% use BBM daily sending over 100 billion messages per month. But how many are teens?

Well, out of the 43 million active users more than 30% (12,900,000) are teenagers.

So what you think about that? Spooky, huh?

The brain of a teen is still in full growth and development. Compared to the brain of an adult, a teenager’s brain size is almost the same, and his neurons, cells and capacity of thinking and reasoning are highly comparable, but a teenager’s ability to think for himself without any factor influencing his decision is still malleable.

This is why BBs are so effective.

With the promise of “a better life…an easier life”, slogans we see in BlackBerry advertisements, these devices are sold like fresh bread and people who buy them don’t even think on the repercussions that might come from overusing them.

In fact, just yesterday I was in my 13-year-old cousin’s house when suddenly a BlackBerry add appeared in the TV screen. It was about a new generation of BBs and what gadgets it possessed. The commercial ended with a quote that said: “Be smart…Be BlackBerry,” and I was just about to start criticizing when I looked at my cousin and I saw her texting.

She texted for almost an hour straight and didn’t even once look at me.

I talked, tried to begin conversation but the only words I got from her were: “Yes”, “No”, “Aha”, “I’m almost done”, and “Give me minute”. When she finished, she looked up and didn’t remember one single thing I had said to her. So what happened? I stood up, told my mother I had a lot of homework and we left.

On my way back home I started wondering why my cousin had done such a thing, and now, in this article I have finally found the solution: BlackBerrys hurt.

They are not only highly addictive but they hinder communication between teens, their parents and their friends. They absorb us so much that we have become incapable of living without them.

Teen out there, the one using your BB right this instant while reading this article, you know what I am talking about. You know that you are addicted; you know that you have to use BBM; you know that that device in your hand is the cause of your mother’s continuous anger.

So Blackberry? ... My new BBF?

I don’t think so.





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This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

BLASTOCISTO58 said...
Nov. 17, 2012 at 9:06 am
Excellent article, we must pay attention about this modern problem  
 
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