YOUNG GIRLS AND PHONES
(December 5, 2010)
Have you ever wondered why so many young girls — as young as 9 or 10 years old — have an extremely strong desire to have their own phone?
There is an obvious answer, which may have already occurred to you: Young girls like to copy their mothers, their older siblings, and their friends. Since many parents, brothers, sisters, and friends already have their own phones, it only makes sense for a young girl to want one for herself. After all, the same girl will dress up in her mother's clothing, hang around her older brothers or sisters, and copy her friends. Couldn't wanting her a phone of her own be the same type of thing?
The answer is no. The explanation as to why so many 10-year-old girls demand they own phone is not that simple, because 10-year-old girls are not that simple.
To be sure, children are natural mimics, and it only makes sense to assume that young girls naturally want to copy the people around them. Nevertheless, such copying is selective. You don't see millions of young girls wanting to get a job, or fill out a tax return, or make car payments, just because their parents do. And how many 10-year-old girls do you think feel jealous because they can't do the same algebra homework as their older sisters? When a young girl's friend gets a flu shot, is the young girl likely to keep bothering her mother and father until she too can have a vaccination?
The explanation of why so many young girls have such a strong desire to get their own phones is much more complicated than mere copycat behavior. Perhaps even more interesting and important is the observation that, once they get such phones, many girls quickly become obsessed with talking and texting many times a day. Indeed, it is common for girls to use their phones as often as possible, up until the moment they fall asleep, only to start again when they get up in the morning. In between, they sleep with the phone next to them.
So why should this be the case?
Put simply: so many young girls desperately want their own phones because they are programmed to do so by a combination of premature development and addictive technology.
As you might expect, these are not particularly healthy desires.
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