The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
8 Points

This House Believes that Children should be Allowed to Own and use Moblie Phones.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,222 times Debate No: 78138
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




Hello we have 3 rounds

1. Acceptance/ Definition
2. Body
3. Conclusion

No forfeiting.


Phones: A device that can do almost anything
Children: Kids
Ban: Stop


I want to start by thanking brianjustin3709 for challenging me to this debate, and I gladly accept the challenge, as this is a topic I've yet to debate here.

I agree to follow the rule of no forfeiting and the round structure.

In regards to definitions, while I agree with Con's definitions for the most part, I think it would be prudent to expand on the definitions provided by my opponent for the sake of clarity.


Mobile Phones: A telephone with access to a cellular radio system so it can be used over a wide area, without a physical connection to a network. also called cellular phone. [1]

Children: A young human being below the legal age of majority. [2]

**Since I am American and the age of majority is 18 and my opponent is from South Korea where the age is 19, I believe we can find a common ground and agree that this term encompasses anyone under the age(s) of 18/19.**

Ban: Officially or legally prohibit. [3]

With that out of the way, I wish my opponent the best of luck, and look forward to having a cordial and thought-provoking debate.


Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for Pro to accept.

Hello today our topic is that This House Believes that Children should be Allowed to Own and use Mobile Phones. I disagree because of 4 reasons. My first reason is that There are long-term health risks to mobile phone use. My second reason is that Mobile phones are too expensive for children. My third reason is that Mobile phones are inappropriate distractions in school. My fourth reason is that Mobile phones are open to abuse.

First I will tell you about Mobile Phones for children. The United Nations estimates that there are currently as many as 4.1 billion active mobile phone subscriptions. Modern mobile phones can perform a wide variety of functions, such as taking and sending photographs and video, playing music and games, and surfing the internet and accessing social networks. Their main use, however, remains for voice calls and for texting short messages. As prices of both phones and calls have come down in the past ten years or so with increased competition, they have become much more affordable for young people. This has raised questions about whether children should own phones, and if they should be allowed to take them into school. Schools in different countries, and within countries, take very different views on this issue. In many European schools, especially in Scandinavia, mobile phone technologies are actively used in education and to communication with students. Other schools allow them to be carried, but say they must never be turned on in school hours. Some (for example, New York schools) ban them entirely. Proponents of children being given mobile phones argue that they keep them safe, within reach of their parents at all times and are essential for maintaining friendships and social cohesion, whilst opponents maintain that they are susceptible to abuse and do not have the best interests of the child at heart.

Now I will go on my first argument that My first reason is that There are long-term health risks to mobile phone use.
“There are possible potential long-term health risks from using mobile phones. In May 2011, the World Health Organisation classified the radiation emitted by handsets as ‘possibly carcinogenic’. It has been widely accepted that the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones are absorbed into the body, ‘much of it by the head when the headset is held to the air’. Because children’s brains are still developing, any possible damage to them is even more worrying than for adults. It is true there is no total scientific proof about this, but it is better to play safe than take risks – the precautionary principle. Until science can prove mobile phones are completely safe for young people to use, they should not be allowed to have them. As Christopher Wild, who headed a study into the health risks of mobile use, instructed, ‘it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting’. The damage, despite not being conclusive, is potentially serious enough to warrant caution and preve.”

Now I will move on my second argument which is Mobile phones are too expensive for children. Mobile phones are too expensive for children. Even if basic models are cheap to buy, calls are expensive and charges soon mount up because ‘what kids really want to do is text-message their friends, download music or play games’.[1] Many young people run up big bills their parents have to pay. A few rich families might be able to afford this, but for many parents the hours their kids spend on their cell phones are an uncontrollable expense they cannot cope with. Others are under peer pressure to get the newest, most stylish phones with all the latest gadgets.
Banning mobile phones would at least partially reduce the financial strain on poorer families.

Now I will move on my third argument which is Mobile phones are inappropriate distractions in school.
Mobile phones are inappropriate in schools. They take students’ attention away from their lessons and undermine discipline. Rules about having them turned off in lessons are impossible to enforce – students just put them in silent mode and secretly text or play games in the back of the class. There have been many cases of students using mobiles to cheat in tests, in 2005 60% of cases involving taking unauthorized items into exam rooms involved mobile phones, and some of students recording embarrassing footage of their teachers to post on the internet. Schools are for learning and anything which gets in the way of that should be banned.

Now I will move on my fourth argument which is that Mobile phones are open to abuse. Mobile phones are open to abuse, offering activities which are very inappropriate for children. The ability of modern phones to display graphics has led to the rise of mobile pornography, sexting, gambling and cyber-bullying. Most parents restrict their children’s television viewing and computer use, but it is much harder for them to monitor mobile phone use. In 2004, British mobile phone operators, in an effort to combat mobile abuse, enacted regulation that prevents children purchasing phones with unlimited internet access Though this demonstrates a problem has been identified, the solution does not address phones bought by parents for their children or children who already own phones with unlimited internet access. Given this, it is best that children are not allowed to own them.

For these reasons we urge you to vote for CON.



*I will be using the terms "cell-phone" and "mobile phone" interchangeably.*


I. Internet Access

Since we are discussing modern mobile phones, I believe a clear advantage right from the start for children owning one is that they will have access to the Internet. If a child is working on a project for school, or merely having a discussion with someone and needs to find information fast, a cell-phone can provide the access to the vast amounts of information needed by the child at that moment. Thus the clear benefit is that cell-phones can help a child obtain answers to questions very quickly and easily, which can help with studies as well as other simple daily questions like daily weather or finding directions to go someplace new.

II. Tracking Devices

Many modern cell-phones include GPS or Satellite location technology. When first turning on a majority of newer mobile phones, you are immediately prompted by the phone to allow location tracking. Furthermore, even if such technology isn't turned on, cell-phone towers can still help locate children due to the phone signals relaying off the nearest cell-phone tower. What this means is that cell-phones provide an additional level of security with children by being able to assist in locating the child should he/she ever get lost or abducted. The most important thing is that a parent or guardian can track where their child is to ensure that they are safe and where they are supposed to be at any moment should they install such an app on the phone, and can still benefit from their child having the cell-phone even if such an app isn't installed.

III. Staying in Touch

I believe a very clear advantage of children owning cell-phones is that it allows the child and parent to stay in touch. Say a child stays after school to work on a project or for a sports event. The child is able to notify the parent and actively keep the parent updated if he/she needs a ride home afterwards. This is important because things like pay-phones are becoming less and less common, or perhaps the school offices are closed by the time the after-school activity ends. With a child owning a cell-phone, there is no need to worry about such things, nor would such things even present an issue.

This argument also ties into safety. Should an emergency situation arise, either on the parents end or the child's end, they will be able to actively communicate with one another as needed. The benefit of this is made clearly evident with the recent strings of school shootings that have occurred in America the past couple of years. For instance, the Washington State School shooting that occurred on Oct. 24th, 2014. A dailymail article showcases the benefits of allowing children to own cell-phones during that situation. An excerpt from the article:

A crying mother called to report a text from her daughter, but when the operator tried to comfort her by saying police were on the way, it didn't help.

'My daughter is not following lock-down directions and she and other kids have run from their classroom,' the woman said. 'She's away from her classroom right now. What advice can I give her?' [1]

What this shows us is that because the daughter had a cell-phone, the mother was able to communicate to her the advice given by the police operator on the other side after the daughter fled the classroom. Without a cell-phone, the mother certainly wouldn't have been able to communicate the advice necessary to best protect and ensure the well-being of her daughter. In fact, she might not had even known that her daughter was alive, which in itself is a degree of parental torment that no-one should have to suffer through. The fact that cell-phones allow children to remain in touch with parents, especially in horrendous scenarios such as the school shooting above, showcases yet another clear advantage of allowing children to own cell-phones.

IV. Responsibility

Another benefit of allowing children to own cell-phones is that it allows the parents to teach the child about responsibility. They can set guidelines for the child such as texting them at a specific time, or rules about taking care of the phone and not breaking it. The child is responsible for the phone, and as such can learn the importance of caring for an object. This also ties into teaching a child discipline, since if the child abuses or neglects the phone they can have it taken away by the parent as punishment for failing to properly care for it.

V. Older children

For older children who can already legally drive, a cell-phone can serve as a protective device once more should any kind of road-side emergency arise. For instance, if a child is driving and gets a flat tire, he/she can call either their parents or a local towing company for assistance. Should an accident occur, the child can contact the authorities and emergency services which could very well be the difference between life and death. Thus, it seems like with older children the advantages of owning a cell-phone becomes even more clear, as it serves, yet again, as a device that can help the child when unforeseen situations or emergencies arise.

VI. Maturity

I find it very unsettling to think that a child between the ages of 16-18, who can legally drive, shouldn't be allowed to use a device like a cell-phone. We'd literally be allowing a child to own and operate a heavy-machine for the purpose of travel, yet wouldn't allow them to own a handheld device that serves a purpose for communication? It just doesn't make sense. If a child is mature enough to legally own and operate a vehicle on highways, surely they have the maturity and capability to own and operate a hand-held device. I believe this is also the biggest flaw of proponents who argue in support of Con's side, there is clearly a vast difference of maturity between "children" when that term encompasses anyone from 5 - 18/19 years old. I do believe that there should be some restrictions for *very young* children, but to argue that a 16-19 year old shouldn't be allowed to own a phone is just absurd.

For these reasons, I believe we should allow children to own and use mobile (cell) phones.


Long-term health risks

The biggest flaw with Con's reliance on the WHO report of May 2011 is that they merely claim that it's "possibly carcinogenic". So, ultimately, there is no *actual* proof that they *are* carcinogenic. Furthermore, there is no legal or moral grounds to ban the usage of something that is "possibly carcinogenic" when there are multiple things that are proven to be carcinogenic while still being legally usable by children such as chemotherapy, engine exhausts from cars they drive, insecticides and cleaning products - thus there is no ground for us to ban something that is "possibly carcinogenic" when we allow them use of things which are definitely carcinogenic.

Pro even concedes that: "It is true there is no total scientific proof about this..." but then relies on the precautionary principle and argues that until science can prove it's completely safe, we shouldn't allow children to use them. This is ridiculous, science hasn't yet to prove that the usage of automobiles are completely safe, and yet we allow children to use them. Unless Con can show that his incredibly high standards placed on science to prove something as completely safe is justifiable, this argument fails to negate the motion.

Mobile Phones are too Expensive

This is a non-issue if the parents simply buy the phone for them. Con fails to realize that there are such things as "family plans" where the child is bundled into the same payment plan as their parents. He states "a few rich families might be able to afford this", but that is nothing more than an unproven assumption on his part. According to Pew Research, 80% of children aged 14-17 already have cell phones. Even 66% of 11-14 year olds have cell phones. [2]

As the image above shows, even families with less than $30,000 in annual earnings has a majority that owns cell-phones. There is no way that banning phones would "reduce the financial strain on poorer families" when that strain isn't mandatory in the first place. No-one is forcing them to go buy a phone, thus it logically follows that a poorer family wouldn't be financially burdened in the first place if they aren't even forced to buy one.

Distractions in Schools

Schools already have measures in place to prevent such distractions from arising, such as rules to turn off the phone or to not have a phone on you. This argument can just as easily be applied to note-passing or windows in classrooms, as both of those also cause distractions. Ultimately, I believe the benefits of having access to a cell-phone in schools for safety purposes far outweigh the potential harms of being distracted in class. This argument also seems to contradict Con's earlier point about how certain nations actively utilize phones for educational purposes in the classrooms. Perhaps what it really comes down to is whether the school takes advantages of the learning oppounities vs. suppressing access to them. I believe the former far outweighs the latter.

Open to Abuse

I believe my arguments relating to responsibility and discipline counter this argument. There is potential abuse in all things, restricting access to just one thing that can *potentially* be abused removes the opportunity to teach children on the proper use of such things. We can abuse ice-cream as well, and cause serious health risks to ourselves, but if we are taught to eat in moderation, the abuse becomes non-existent. The same applies here, as with anything that can lead to abuse, we have the opportunity and ability to teach children how to responsibility avoid such things, and thus successfully use the cell-phone without abusing it in any way.


Debate Round No. 2



1. In Pro's first round which he said that he is 18 and I was 19, actually I am 14 so I believe that 14 is a child. We are talking about until middle school you do not need phones.

2. In Pro's first argument which is internet access, you can't have your phone in school either and also why do you need internet access in the streets? Because many people say that children usually do games with their phones. Also for the daily weather or finding dierections, the parents know where they are going and they probably know where like their home or school is. and also you cna use a computer not only a phone.

3. In Pro's second argument he said that you need GPS. Yes, it does have extra security but your mom knows where you are going and they won't just make you go to a dangerous place.

4. In Pro's third argument which was that staying in touch, this is basically all like his other arguments and I have the same rebuttals.

5. In Pro's fifth argument which was that older children need it, yes but older children who drive aren't children. I tis the same thing like a 30 year old child who needs a cell phone. Of course they need it but we are talking of young children.

Please vote for Con.


I thank Con for his final round!

To start, it's apparent that Con dropped several points of contention I raised in the previous round. To be clear, he only responded to arguments I - III, and then V. Argument IV and VI were dropped and had no response whatsoever from Con. Furthermore, he dropped each of the four rebuttals I presented. Therefore, I extend all dropped arguments, as they currently remain standing unchallenged.


I. Age issue

I believe Con misunderstood my age clarification from the first round. I was not talking about our own ages, but rather I was talking about the legal age of maturity in each of our respective countries - which is 18 and 19. Anyone under those ages are considered children. The entire purpose of that clarification was to show the audience that when we use the term "children" we are talking about anyone below those respective ages. The fact that Con is 14 years old himself holds no relevance to this debate, nor does his own personal definition of the age of "children" in his final round. If he did so in the 1st round, or even the 2nd, then I'd allow the change - but altering the definition of children in the final round is unacceptable in any debate setting. Furthermore, I do believe that Oxford Dictionaries outweigh the personal definition of my opponent (which is based on his own age).

II. Internet Access

Con says we can't have phones in schools, but his own first round shows that such a claim is purely relative and changes from school-to-school, country-to-country. In schools that both allows phones and utilize them for educational purposes, the access to internet that phones provide is a clear benefit for the children using them when needing to work on projects or answer questions. There are also multiple instances where phones can be used by children in the streets (outside of school) for a wide variety of purposes. Just because some people claim that children play games on their phones doesn't prove that they are doing that *all the time*. As I stated in the previous round, perhaps they need to look up directions or even the weather. Con states that the parents know where they are going and knows all the locations - but the whole point is that the *children* might not know such things and thus benefit from having a phone with internet access to utilize, it's not like the parent will be around 24/7. Lastly, I'm not sure what relevance using a computer has to do with anything. I'm showing that there are benefits for children using a cell phone with internet access, being able to also use a computer is a non-issue, since these are two separate things altogether.


This rebuttal from Con falls short on several levels. First and foremost, I never claimed we *need* GPS. I merely show another benefit of children owning and using cell phones that comes from the additional security provided by the tracking features. Con never challenged this benefit itself, but rather attempts to counter the benefit by claiming that the mother of the children would know where they are. This is a faulty assumption as there have been multiple instances where children get lost or separated from the parents, much less go places that the parent isn't aware of. Furthermore, children might not always know that they are wandering or going to a dangerous place when they are out playing with friends in the surrounding community. The real danger is found in child predators and the reality that children do get lost. To believe that the child's mother will *always* know where the child is, or that the child won't *ever* wander into a dangerous place by chance is nothing but faulty assumptions with no supporting evidence. On the other hand, all one needs to do is visit the following link to see the reality and statistics of children getting lost without any means of tracking them:

What the link shows is that there are cases where children are abducted against their will, and thus having a cell-phone which can help in tracking the child's location is a clear benefit in regards to children being able to own and use cell phones.

IV. Staying in Touch

Con extends his rebuttal against my safety arguments into this one. I believe this falls short of the specific issue I raised, which was that cell phones allow children to stay in constant contact with their parents and friends. Should an emergency arise, the benefits of having an open line of communication with their guardians can be the difference between life and death, as I showed in my previous round with the school-shooting scenario, among others. His previous rebuttals do not extend to this argument for the sole reason that this argument was unique and presented a unique advantage. As such, I extend this argument as it truly stands unchallenged by my opponent.

V. Older Children

Con re-hashes his claim that this debate revolves solely around young children. The problem is that Con never stated young children neither in the resolution nor 1st round. On the other hand, I showed what the legal age of maturity were in our respective countries and proved that with the definitions I gave at the start of this debate. In both of our countries, people who can drive are able to obtain their licenses while still under the legal age of maturity, thus children can drive. My point revolved around the fact that it's absurd to allow a child to drive if we aren't going to even allow them to own and use mobile phones which require much less knowledge, focus, and training to use. The argument also included the benefits of allowing children who drive to also use cell phones should a road-side emergency arise.

In closing,

I have rebutted each point raised by Con. I've also extended each argument and rebuttal of my own that were dropped by my opponent, as they currently remain standing unchallenged.

I thank Con for this challenge, and look forward to any and all challenges in the future.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by brianjustin3709 1 year ago
I alerady have a rebut though
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Rebuttals come after your opponent (me) posts an argument. Since I haven't posted one yet, there's nothing for you to rebut. So don't worry about it :) Just place your rebuttals and conclusion in the 3rd round. In the future, you might prefer to do 4 round debates instead of 3 rounders since that gives you a 3rd round for rebuttals and then the 4th round for conclusions/closing statements.
Posted by brianjustin3709 1 year ago
oh no! I didn't make my rebuttal!
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
I appreciate the challenge, and will post my first round tomorrow.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Lee001 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had one major flaw. His "evidence" for mobile devices causing health risks are invalid. As argued by Pro in Round 2 *actual* proof that they *are* carcinogenic. Pro clearly argues that his argument is invalid because it's false. Con also argues tha cell phones are too expensive for children, but yet parents usually pay for them. Again as Pro had argues, their are family plans that work for each families financial capability. Con at the end argues you don't need internet in class because you aren't allowed to have cell phones in class, but yet he argues its a distraction in class. He simply contradicts himself. Pro successfully proves that children having phones has more benefit, than harm. He also rebuts every sing point con makes with evidence which strengthens his arguments. Reliable sources go to Pro used sources that; used factual based evidence and prove his point. Unlike Con, he used sources that contradicted his arguments. Good job!
Vote Placed by kasmic 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped many contentions and had only partial rebuttals where he did give them. Pro successfully negated health risks and financial contentions. Con did have two solid arguement's 1. Phones are inappropriate for school. Pro does mitigate this by demonstrating notes as similar. This does not however negate. 2. Open to abuse. In my opinion this was where con could have won big. Pro merely mitigates showing other things to be open to abuse. But the mitigation is enough as by the end of the debate as I buy all 6 of pro's contentions. As far as age, I am inclined to agree with pro that his definiton is preferred as he brought it up initially and supported it with a dictionary. Thus, by accepting this con essentially would lose because he said "In Pro's fifth argument which was that older children need it, yes but older children who drive aren't children." Since we see they are, Pro wins. Good round guys!