Cell Phone Industry Holds Panel on Impact of Cell Phones on Kids and Teens

363 billion text messages were sent in 2007 — how many were sent by kids 8 and up?
For immediate release
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

363 billion text messages were sent in 2007 — how many were sent by kids 8 and up? At the cell phone industry’s major national conference in San Francisco this week, Common Sense Media CEO and founder Jim Steyer will challenge the mobile phone industry to help kids and families manage the huge proliferation of cell phones among youngsters, as well as the resulting impact on their learning and development.

"54 percent of 8- to 12-year-olds will have cell phones within the next three years. And cell phones are the number one form of communication for teens, who use them to text, send photos and videos, and — in growing numbers — to access the Web," says Steyer. "Cell phones are basically mini-computers now, and they open up many more opportunities for kids — and also many more potential dangers. Parents want help making sure that their kids use cell phones in safe, smart ways. The industry should take the lead in helping families navigate this new technology, or they will undoubtedly face growing regulatory pressure."

Some Facts About Kids and Cell Phones

  • More than half of kids ages 8 to 12 will have cell phones within the next three years
  • Two thirds of teens have cell phones
  • Cell phones are the number one form of communication for teens
  • 70% of teens talk daily with friends on a cell phone
  • 60% of teens send text messages daily
  • 43% of kids ages 13-17 have experienced cyberbullying

Steyer will join FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate in introducing the panel, entitled "Mobile Web 2.0: The Carrier Perspective," at CTIA’s Wireless I.T. & Entertainment conference on September 10, at 1 p.m. in Room 2006, Moscone West, San Francisco. Panelists include David Burmester (Verizon), Mark Collins (AT&T), Richard Feasey (Vodafone), and Ian McKerlich (T-Mobile).

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is the nation's leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the impact of media and entertainment on kids and families. Common Sense Media provides trustworthy ratings and reviews of media and entertainment based on child development criteria created by leading national experts. For more information, visit www.commonsensemedia.org.