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?

Gradeschooler with a cellphone...

Did Big Bird pick up yet, or is he going to let it go to voicemail again?

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.

2 thoughts on “NOPE.

  1. I just want to start off with: I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 16 years old. I had 500 text messages a month and couldn’t use our shared minutes unless I was calling home (if my parents weren’t answering cell phones) or unless I had an emergency. So I stuck to my 500 text messages and after 9pm and free weekend minutes and was perfectly content. Honestly, I really didn’t even need a cell phone at that point. I wasn’t driving yet and I communicated with my friends mostly over AIM at the time. So my question is: why the heck to young children need cell phones these days? play more games that suck their brains out of their heads?
    I volunteer at my church and work with 1-3rd grades, and a lot of them have smart phones and even iPads and all they do is play games–one of my kids even added me on Facebook the other day! Parents need to rethink this ridiculous ability for children to have free access to the internet and to the world. I’m all for kids exploring and whatnot, but parents also need to be aware of what their kids are doing with all this technolog–the world is a dangerous one these days. Their use of technology should be limited and supervised in my opinion.

  2. I agree with what you’re saying. I have a younger brother who is 11 and he tries to compare his life to mine by saying, “why do you get to have a cell phone and I don’t?” Mind you, my parents purchased a free phone for him so he could take it to camp in case of asthma related emergencies. But he doesn’t even use it because what he really wants is an iPhone since everyone else has one.

    I agree when you said that a phone is just a status symbol for kids that age because they just wanted to be like the kids that are on the cool commercials and the cool kids in the TV shows they watch since shows like Hey Arnold aren’t there for them – they’re watching shows like iCarly that represents “real kids” portraying status.

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