Cell phones were BRICKS when I was in high school, and very few kids had them. If we went to the mall with someone's mom and wanted to go off by ourselves, we'd agree on a meeting point (cinnabon, usually, lol) and a time (an hour from now) and regroup. If I went to a friend's house and we wanted to go somewhere else, we'd use the land line to let our parents know what was up. If we were at a football game and a friend wanted me to sleep over, we'd either use the pay phone at the school or just go to the friend's house, call from there, and if it wasn't ok (though it usually was because it was the weekend and my mom could use the break), I'd go home. When we got in from field trips, I'd call collect and instead of saying my name, I'd say "we're back, come get me"; Mom would reject the call and drive over. My mom had a list of all my friend's numbers right there in the kitchen, and she still has a list because my brother's 18 and still living at home. If he's not home within 30 minutes of curfew, she starts making calls. They don't have cell phones because they can't afford them and my mom is a bit of a Luddite. Her partner has a pay-as-you-go phone, and he uses it when he's working music festivals & such, but usually he only uses $20 every few months.
George's siblings all have their own phones and it's been nothing but headaches. They have a land line and call waiting, yet they use their cells to talk to their friends when they're at home
. They constantly go over their text limits, give their mom hassle about paying their part of the bill (V is 21, J is 18, and G is 17, they all have jobs and verbally agreed to pay for the bill if they got the phone), it goes on & on. I can understand having a phone if your kid is driving somewhere, especially at night or in a rural area, but MIL has a cell phone they could borrow for that purpose. No, they want their own because MIL's phone isn't "cool" enough
Andy's too young for his own phone, though he does have the store display phones that George brings home from work. I'm not planning on sending him to school, so he won't be texting in class, but I don't see myself willing to get him his own phone, either. We kept in touch just fine before the invention of cell phones.