News article on the bill introduced in the Vermont State Senate to ban the possession and use of cellphones by people under 21 years of age

Read the full bill here

Sure, Senator Rodgers, owning a cellphone may be more dangerous than owning a gun. Probably owning a car is as well, yet in your state of Vermont, one can earn a junior driving license at age 16 and a full license at 18 – shall we increase the driving age as well and treat our young biological adults even more like children?

Simple “links” (that is, correlations) “between cellphone use by people under the age of 21 to a rise in driving fatalities, suicides, mass shootings and terrorism” do not imply that cellphone use CAUSES all those horrible things to happen.

Perhaps the REAL cause is that people under 21, who not too long ago in human history would already have married and be caring for themselves and a family, are often more than ready for adult responsibilities, yet we frustrate them by increasingly withholding from them those responsibilities on the fallacious judgment that they are by their age still “children.” Some – not all – may seem like “children,” but only because our society forces them to be so – if schools isolate you from the real adult world of work and bore you with theoretical lessons on physics when you could be apprenticing as a software engineer, no wonder life can feel meaningless to you and may lead you to express your frustration in drastic ways.

Besides, do you not think twenty-two-year-olds, or even fifty-two-year-olds, can be negatively impacted by their cellphone use also? Yet no one tries to take away cellphones from them, since adults don’t have that much power over other adults in our culture, but they do have apparently endless power over people under a very arbitrarily chosen age.

Anyone can use a cellphone for good, for bad, or for terrible, regardless of their age. We need to encourage positive, socially beneficial cellphone use by EVERYONE, younger and older people both.

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