Readers’ Scoop: Does My Teenager Need A Cell Phone?

Readers-Scoop-Logo smallTo TLS readers. My oldest teenage son just went off to learn in Israel for the first time, and within a week of his arrival he tells me, “Daddy, I need a cell phone”. When I asked him what he needs a cell phone for, he answered because he can’t manage without it. All his friends have it and he explained how he needs it for texting etc to communicate with friends etc.

My question is, do I give him a cell phone with texting capabilities, do I give him a phone with no texting or do I not give him a phone at all? It’s really a two-fold question. Should I trust my son with it, and even if I do, do I want him to be distracted from learning or perhaps it will assist him in his learning.

So I’m sure many of you are thinking and asking how I could not know if i should trust my son, but anyone with a teenager in today’s world, will understand my question.

Any suggestions or input would be appreciated.

A father new to the concept.

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  1. My boys went to Israel before cell phones , they did fine without them. Are they going to learn or because every other boy goes. Remember you are the father , he is the child. Stop letting him tell you what to do. It’s nice that you let him go, he should be grateful for that.

  2. Your son is thousands of miles away and you are not sure if you can trust him with a phone, yet you can trust him in a far away country on his own??? I say if you trust him enough to send him there then he should absolutely have a phone. I was in Yeshiva in Israel for 5 years, you need a phone, Bauruch Hashem it’s been quiet but you always have to have a way to contact someone there 24/7.

  3. If you read up on the effects of the communist movement in the early 1900’s you’ll find that many boys were lured by and joined the communists, while turning their backs on the glory of European yeshivos. Cell phones and the like are just the newest inventions created by the Yetzer Hara to pull our boys and our future away from serving Ha-Shem

  4. Your son is thousands of miles away and you are not sure if you can trust him with a phone, yet you can trust him in a far away country on his own???

  5. what was the real reason you sent your son to israel? im sure it was because you wanted him to shtyg away. let me ask you something. why didnt you send him to one of the many 100s of yeshivos in america? why israel? im willing to bet its because either of social pressure . that being the case you cant pick and choose when social pressure dictates,as long as its a resonable request , and having a phone is a resonable request.

  6. my grandfather went to yeshiva and he didn`t have a washing machine. I believe nowadays bochurim shouldn`t have washing machines bec they wiil learn to money launder.

  7. a bochur with a cell phone in yeshivah is not in yeshivah
    he is busy with every “mitzvah “under the sun other than learning (i was once a bacher not to long ago and i know what it means if youl be honest with yourself you will see that im right )

  8. NO! TELL HIM FLAT OUT NO. THEY JUST ARE UP TO NOGOOD WITH THE CELL PHONE. DONT DO IT. it’ll take away from his stiging guarenteed , there’s no comparison between a bochur w/ a cellphone a bochur w/o its just a time waster for him and a distraction . Just tell him NO!

  9. My kids grew up without cell phones and even were able to call me from Eretz Yisroel every week. Every “dira” had a phone installed, but nowadays, I think, it is expected that if you want to be able to communicate with your child he needs a cell phone.

  10. there are distractions in e . yisroel even without a cell phone .bwhy did you send him there in the first place? is it because his friends went or some other pressures that made u send him there?

  11. There is a good case to be made for letting a bochur have a cellphone in Israel – but on two conditions:
    1) ONLY a “Meusher” phone (those with the hechsher – they only allow for calling – NO texting.
    2) Promises to keep it shut during davening and seder..

    Most bochurim have one (the good boys that listen to the Roshei Yeshivos and Gedolim have only the ones with the Hechsher) – so you have to give him one. Plus it is important to have one for emergencies.
    Texting is a no-no, both in E”Y and here in USA – it is the “Satan” in disguise (no joke). And the same holds true for girls. I never let my kids have that feature.
    Since this is all new to you – so is having a son in E”Y. Make sure you are on top of what he is doing at all times, and who he is hanging around with! Learning in E”Y can be a blessing or c”v the opposite – know your child.

  12. Kosher phone/treife phone its all the same. It boils down to trust on ur part and self control on his part. In e yisroel, if he is holding by doing avairos he will do it with a phone or w/o a phone.

  13. There are so many different angles to debate this question. However, ultimately I believe it depends on the child. Chanoch l’naar al pi darkoi. If your son desires it so much then you should consider it, but encourage him to use it properly. If the yeshiva approves of it and most of the bochurim already have one then in my opinion he should have one too. Without a phone he will feel like a nebechel and uncool around his friends. Social pressures are very stressful on children today and they need our help in that matter so they can feel better about themselves. if you do get him a phone, add an extra tefilla that he should use it well and not fall into the traps that some kids do – (V’hamaven yaven)

  14. I just got back from israel yesterday. It is such a need for a cell phone. Without a cell phone i wouldn’t have enjoyed myself because i would be more nervous of getting lost then enjoying myself. I had a prepaid cell phone and used it spearingly and i had no texting. I had the miushar cell phone. Mine was totally for a 1 minute phone call. But you are the parents. You should decide.

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