All the teen’s burners

If you restrict it, it becomes more desirable, that’s the adage parents worldwide have to deal with, but it is especially true for phones now, as they have become the lifeblood of teen communication. After all, social networks and chat apps are the world now, and hoping to stroll the mall and hangout after class is only an exercise in social isolation.

Extrapolating from a single story that admittedly depicts a widespread phenomenon, a Wall Street Journal investigation reveals that teens are increasingly using “burner” phones when their handsets get taken away by parents for various reasons. 

Just like the drug dealers in the Wire, teens are buying burners to get to their Snapchat or Instagram personas. According to one retired detective (no, not from the Wire):

The backup phones kept popping up in the house of the Van Everys, and the hint that their daughter Jalyn used one usually was that she stopped nagging them for her official handset back when it had been taken as а punishment for rule-breaking.

Admittedly, Jalyn got her first phone rather late in the game, at 14, and it has been a constant struggle to weed out burners ever since. It was four years of “hell” until she turned 18, say the parents and they fought what they felt was a losing battle in the end. The kicker is that the burners are needed not only when parents take your phone but also to post on “Finsta”, or Instagram profiles they shouldn’t know about and can’t check if they know the password of your official one. 

Cat and mouse game, but that’s where we are now, and while Jalyn admits “now that I look back, I realize how dumb all the fights were,” her parents have two younger kids and they may be giving up on burners already. “We’re not going to go through this with three more kids,” says the father so what’s left is communicating with your kid about the time they spend on the phone, and set some rules about online safety.

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