South Korea limits teen cell use
South Korea is a telecom wonderland. People there have true broadband, not this 256 kilobit/second stuff that passes for high-speed Internet here in the U.S. And wireless service is ubiquitous and inventive. Social networking was invented there, by a phone company, no less. Now comes word out of Seoul that the government is looking at ways to limit teens' cellphone use.
The measure is aimed at keeping the kids from spending too much money on cell-phone bills. Ballooning bills are a big problem there; a teenaged boy killed himself in February after racking up a 3.7 million won ($4,017) bill.
But I wonder if South Korean parents -- who are sticklers for education -- are getting concerned about the amount of cell-phone time their kids are logging at school. The Reuters article notes that 4 out of 10 South Korean kids use their phones at school, but that number seems low. Think about it: Would you tell the ominous-sounding Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion if you were using your cellphone in class?
I'm teaching in Korea and almost every kid in class has a cell phone. Primarily the uses are for texting, followed by phoning. However a lot of them use the built in English/Korean dictionary for translating. There is no dialog here about when someone is too young to have a phone. Everyone has one, get on with it.
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