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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A look at how teenagers use their mobile phones in the Kingdom

A look at how teenagers use their mobile phones in the Kingdom

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In the last decade, it was not easy or cheap to communicate with others through cell phones if you were lucky enough to own one. Network coverage and prices were a barrier, preventing accessibility to cell phone use among many at that time. Only places with large populations had network coverage and the price per minute was even higher than $0.20 for in-network calls.

Fortunately, with the constant development of technology as well as the improvements in everyday life, cell phone use has become an integral part of people’s lives for general communication and business.
Eight mobile phone operators are competing in the industry and many of them have increased the network coverage throughout Cambodia.

In an article on The Diplomat website entitled World’s Most Cutthroat Cell Market? the writer said that most industry observers agree that there are between five and six million active users, which is about 37 percent usage amongst the total population of Cambodia.

It is really beneficial that people can be more accessible to people and family from place to place and it easier to communicate for business with the lower prices that operators provide with their promotions.

However, even with all the promotions and benefits, challenges and problems can also occur – and these require people to pay a close attention.

With various promotions aiming to attract users especially young people, better consideration on teenagers’ behaviour toward their use of cell phones is worth thinking about.

Most parents buy mobile phone for their children to easily contact and inform them in an emergency or to find out where they are. Sometimes they buy them just to keep in contact with  the family.

However, some young people are seduced by promotional offers provided by various mobile phone operators like free calls or in-network calls with very cheap prices – many unaware teenagers can spend too much time talking with their friends.

As I myself have witnessed, some of my friends who use promotions seem to spend most of their time just talking on the phone with their friends and lovers without paying attention to their studies.

According to the World Health Organisation, radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer. Though there has not yet been long-term study on the effects of radiation from mobile phones, a study last year showed that children under 10 years old who talk on mobile phones for 30 minutes per day can develop Glioma, a kind of tumor that can occur in people’s brains, according to an article on the Koh Santepheap website.

Riding around Phnom Penh on your motorbike, you can always see drivers using their mobile phones while they are diving their vehicle. This can cause them to not pay attention to what is happening on the road in front of them, which can cause accidents.

Surveys in the UK have found that using a mobile phone when driving is more dangerous than drink-driving. It is much safer to use a hands-free kit if you want to use your mobile phone and drive at the same time.

In the UK and other Western countries, heavy fines are given out by police officers who stop people for using their  mobile phone when driving.

Therefore, teenagers themselves should think thoroughly about what they are using with mobile phones since that can lead to  wasting of time, adverse health effects, miscommunication and traffic accident. Mobile phone operators also should reconsider about the promotions that can cause negative effects on unaware teenagers.

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