The teen with no phone number

Last weekend, the teen had a friend over who has a smartphone. Well, what teen does not have one, these days, right?

The reason I am mentioning this is that said friend’s smartphone did not have a sim.

Initially, I thought that they meant that the sim was malfunctioning. But, no. What they meant was that the phone had no sim. On purpose. Because, the friend explained, ‘I just don’t make many phone calls, and I can get wi-fi in most places, anyway’.

I was amazed.

I knew that teens don’t make many phone calls and that, instead, they favour texting their friends, or using social media. Some even bury the phone icon somewhere in the second, third or later screens of their phones.

PewResearch Teens phones
Source: Pew Research Centre

But for this teen to simply do without a sim card was, for me, quite unexpected.

When I was in my mid-20s, I stopped exchanging landline phone numbers with my friends. There was no point, as all of them had mobile phones and increasing numbers did not have a landline at all. Now, teens exchange their snapchat codes or Instagram user names before they exchange (mobile) phone numbers, because that’s how they like to communicate. In fact, I suspect that the only phone calls that my teen makes are to me, reluctantly, when I don’t answer her texts or instant messages. This episode left me wondering:

With messaging and social becoming the de facto means of communication between teens, and with more and more parents becoming conversant with social media and instant messaging, will teens stop making voice calls altogether?

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