LIFE ON THE GO                   

Wang Mei puts her hand into her pocket, takes out her red cellphone and presses the talk key. “Hi, mum!  I'm on the bus. I should be home in about ten minutes.” Wang Mei is one of many Chinese teenagers who live life "on the go" and use cellphones.

Cellphones, or mobile phones, make it possible for us to talk to anyone from anywhere.  Words and images are being sent throughout the world. Modern cellphones are more than just phones–they are being used as cameras and radios, and to send e-mail or surf the Internet. New functions are being added to the phones. The latest cellphones have features such as games, music and an electronic calendar that will remind you about appointments and important dates.

Cellphones have changed our behaviour and how we communicate. They are being used everywhere –sometimes where they shouldn't.   One headmaster says that phones are not allowed in the classroom. "If a phone starts ringing in the classroom, teachers and students are disturbed and cannot work."  The students obey the rules and agree not to use their phones in the classroom. "I don't dare to use the phone in school, because they will take it away from me," says John Hill, a student in London. John got his phone for his birthday, but his parents don't let him use it in school. Some parents worry that their children will spend too much time and money on phone calls.

Why are cellphones so popular, especially among teenagers? The answer seems to be that we have a need to stay in touch with friends and family no matter where we are or what we are doing.  Having a cellphone also makes us feel safer, since we can call for help in case of an emergency.  Of course, to many teenagers the cellphone is not only a useful tool but also a way to have fun and be cool.

Wang Mei calls her best friend Xiao Li at least once a day to see how she is doing and what is going on. She says that her cellphone helps her do whatever she wants to do and still stay in touch with her parents and friends.  "I think it's the most useful invention ever,"  Wang Mei says as she is dialing the number to Xiao Li again to ask her what she will be wearing to school tomorrow.


(Senior English for China Student's Book 1A   Unit 9  Reading)


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