Listening Topic: Sociology – Conversation about cell phones

A. Listen to the conversation. Then answer the questions.

1   What does Jessica want? ____________________

2   How does her mother feel about what Jessica wants? ____________________

3   At the end of their discussion, does Jessica’s mother let Jessica get what she wants? ____________________

B. Listen gain. Check the reasons that Jessica and her mother each give for their own points of view.


___ Her friend has a camera phone.

___ She wants to use her phone in school.

___ She wants to take pictures of books and magazines.

___ She wants a camera phone in case she has a car accident.

Jessica’s mother:

___ Jessica already has a cell phone.

___ She is worried that Jessica won’t pay for a new phone.

___ Jessica uses her cell phone too much now.

___ She doesn’t believe Jessica will use good judgment if she has a camera phone.



 A new cell phone with a built-in camera

 She doesn’t like camera phones and doesn’t think Jessica should have a new phone at all.

 No, but she agrees to consider Jessica’s request if Jessica makes some changes in her behavior.


Jessica: Her friend has a camera phone; She wants a camera phone in case she has a car accident.

Jessica’s mother: Jessica already has a cell phone. Jessica uses her cell phone too much now. She doesn’t believe Jessica will use good judgment if she has a camera phone.


A= Jessica, B = Mother

A:   Mom, I was thinking-I really need a new cell phone.

B:   You do, huh? Well, you already have a phone. Why would you need a new one?

A:   My phone’s so old. It’s huge, and it doesn’t even have a camera.

B:   Oh, I see. And why exactly do you need a phone with a camera?

A:   Camera phones are really very useful, especially in an emergency. Besides, I can take pictures of my friends, and I can send pictures to other people. I mean every one has one. Tiffany has had one for over a year.

B:   Right. Well maybe Tiffany’s mother can buy one for you, too.

A:   Very funny. So will you buy me one? They’re not that expensive.

B:   Look, Jessica, you don’t need it. Besides, you spend enough time on the phone you have as it is. If you’re not on the computer or text messaging someone you’re talking on the phone. And, you already have a digital camera. If you want to take pictures, use that.

A:   But Mom, when something unexpected happens, I don’t always have my camera with me. Let’s say we get into a car accident, if I have my camera phone, I can take a picture of the damage, or I can even take a picture of the other car’s license plate.

B:   Look, I happen to have a disposable camera in the car just in case that happens. So that won’t be necessary. But listen, that’s not even the point. Like I said, how many times have I had to ask you to hang up with the phone you already have and come to dinner, or help with the dishes? I’ve told you how impolite some of your phone behavior is, and I haven’t seen much improvement.

A:   What do you mean?

B:   Remember our conversation last month about the bill? Your father and I got you the phone for emergencies only.

A:   Yes, I know. Perhaps you and I define emergencies differently.

B:   And I’ve asked you not to talk loudly on your phone in public and last week at your cousin Julia’s wedding your phone rang because you hadn’t turned it off. That was embarrassing and incredibly rude.

A:   Mom, I understand. Believe me, I won’t do that anymore. I’ll use the phone less. I’ll only use it for emergencies and I’ll keep it silenced when I have to.

B:   And I’m not so sure I like the idea of those camera phones anyway. Do you know what some people are doing with those camera phones? Students are taking pictures of tests and sending them to their friends. I’ve also heard some people are even taking embarrassing pictures of others and posting them on the Internet. I really don’t want you to have one. The temptation for abuse is too high.

A:   Really. I can’t believe you don’t trust me. I would never do anything like that.

B:   Well, maybe you wouldn’t, but your friends might. Look, if they thought an embarrassing situation was funny, and asked you to take a picture of it, well, you would be tempted to do it just because they asked you.

A:   Mom, we’re not even allowed to use cell phones in school. I already know what to do if I have one. I’d keep the camera closed and I wouldn’t take pictures of anyone unless they said I could.

B:   You know, it’s not just at school either, Jessica. People are taking pictures of entire magazines, newspapers and pages from books without buying them. This has been a real problem for bookstores.

A:   Those are other people, Mom, not me. And I wouldn’t use it in bookstores. That’s weird. But that’s kind of besides the point, Mom. What would I have to do to prove to you that I’m mature enough to own a camera phone?

B:   That’s a good question. For one thing, start limiting your calls and being conscientious about using the phone you have. That’ll do more to convince me than anything else Then, when our current cell phone plan ends, maybe we can talk about it., but right now, the answer is no.

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