You know what really rustles my jimmies? Kids with cellphones. Most recently, my friend’s eight year old sister just got one. For now, it’s a dumb phone left over from a plan that would cost more to terminate than to ride out, but I’d bet money on the fact that she’ll get to keep it. What’s more is that I bet in a matter of months, she’ll have a brand new smartphone with a data plan. All of this for what?
With parents getting less involved in their kids’ lives, cellphones are perfect opportunities for parents to be even more distant. To a parent, a cellphone could allow them to check up with their kids without being inconvenienced.
Kids like having a cellphone too. It’s a status symbol in the schoolyard. Not only that, but kids love toys, which is ultimately what they use them for. Most kids just play games on their mobile devices, which seems to be a flagrant waste of processing power. I don’t want to sound like an old codger, but cell phones are some the smallest and most mobile computers we have designed to date, technologically they’re a wonder. They’re severely taken for granted by kids and adults alike.
I can’t just blame the cell phone companies though, it’s also a matter of some of the service providers and parents as well. iTunes, for example, brings the practice of a parent linking their credit card to their child’s account. Just a while ago, I was driving a group of boy scouts to an event. First and foremost, we didn’t used to be allowed to bring our phones on trips. This was partially due to the worry of a loss or damage, but it was also because one of the important elements of scouting is to learn how to operate in nature. I digress though, so I’m driving this group of scouts to an event and two are talking a bit in the back of the car. One is asking if the other has played this game on iphone. So the other opens up the app store and just buys the game. The first scout looks at him and asks “you didn’t want to try the free version before buying it?” and the game-buyer responds “It’s on my parents account, they have to pay for anything I buy”. I don’t know about anyone else, but in my house, that kind of attitude wouldn’t get you very far.