Fairfax said her granddaughter would use the phone to talk to boys and, sometimes, to pick fights with other girls at school. When Fairfax took away Jermea's phone for the last time, she also yanked her access to the teenager's MySpace account after finding out she'd been talking to adults "about things she shouldn't have been."
"No kids should be on MySpace at that age," she added.
Aftab said parents all too often take the easy way out and choose to placate their kids with more games and electronics, rather than take a chance at disciplining them. If computers or cell phones or video games interfere with day-to-day life, she said, that's a red flag that something is wrong.
When police in Adrian, Mich., found the bodies of Marshall and Carmen Sosby, each with gunshot wounds on the night of Sept. 23, 2008, officers initially believed they were dealing with a murder-suicide.
But after talking to the Sosby children, police say that the Sosbys had been killed by their eldest son, also named Marshall, who allegedly killed them following an argument over his cell phone usage.
Adrian Police Det. Vincent Emrick said the Sosbys had taken away their son's cell phone after he'd run up too many minutes talking with his out-of-state girlfriend.
When they returned home that night, he said, they went upstairs looking to talk to Marshall, then 17.
"As they were coming back down the stairs, that's when he ambushed them and shot them both," Emrick said.
Sosby had apparently threatened to kill his parents in conversations with friends, Emrick said, "but they didn't take it seriously at the time."
Birgit Sosby, Marshall's grandmother, declined to comment for this story, saying, "We don't really care to speak about it."
Marshall, now 18, was charged with two counts of murder and various firearms offenses. He was recently deemed unfit for trial, Emrick said, and has been ordered transferred to a state facility.
Police across the country have responded to violent scenes stemming from similar circumstances. Some of them are far less severe, such as reports of a Florida teenager who was arrested for throwing a taco in his mom's face over a cell phone dispute.
But over the last five years, teens have not only pulled guns on their parents over cell phones and video games, they've been accused of everything from poisonings to arson.
Delaware State Police arrested a 16-year-old girl last month for allegedly going after her parents with two large kitchen knives when they took away her cell phone.
Lt. Mark Rust told ABCNews.com that the parents hid in a bedroom with their younger child after the teen threw a knife and then went after them. They had taken away her phone, Rust said, because she had been making late night phone calls to friends.
Police declined to release the girl's name or those of her parents, citing her juvenile status.
"She first picked up a kitchen shear and threw it into the wall," Rust said, adding that the argument had been an all-day affair.
She was charged with aggravated menacing and possession of a deadly weapon during a felony, both felony charges, as well as disorderly conduct, terroristic threatening and aggravated assault, all misdemeanors.