Monday, October 10, 2011

The Monday Rant: Kids with Cell Phones

Nothing irks me quite so much as a little kid with a cell phone.  I understand if you give your kid one for the sake of emergencies or calling you when they get somewhere.  But the kid then will understand that this is for emergencies only.  And they won't be texting their friends during school.  And they won't be annoying people with their incessant texting.  Are you getting the picture here?  Little kids texting bothers me.

I didn't even use a cell phone until I got my license when I was 17 and in my senior year of high school.  Then I shared one with my mom; I only took it when I was driving somewhere.  She wanted me to have it on my person in case of an emergency.  We shared that phone until my sophomore year of college.  At that point I moved into an on-campus apartment and got my own phone, and even then - even now - I hardly ever use it.

I will not condemn adult cell phone use.  Adults have made their own decisions, and some lifestyle or career choices actually require a lot of cell phone use and I don't mind that.  My husband uses his phone so that he can check his email and keep in touch with people even when he's not around the people or at his computer.  With his job, this is important.  If you're 8, it's not.

I guess I don't understand what an 8-year-old could possibly have to say to another 8-year-old while they're in school that can't wait until recess.  Or that can't be passed in a note.  Seriously.  If the note gets caught, the teacher might read it out loud.  If your cell phone gets caught, you're not getting it back until the end of the day/week/month/year/whatever the teacher decides.

And why would you give your kid a phone anyway?  They want to call their friends - and you don't have a land line?  Okay, let them use your phone and restrict their time limit.  That's what you did on the land line anyway!  If you give them their own phone, they will be yakking and yakking to their friends and ignoring you.

There is a lot of peer pressure on kids to have a cell phone, so your kids are probably begging you to get them one.  And it's up to you to decide what age, if any, to allow them that.  And then do they pay for their own plan/minutes to give them responsibility? - or is this something for which you pay?  What are the consequences for using it during class?  A lot of important decisions for you to make are wrapped up in this cell phone question.

But if your kid is still in elementary school - just don't.  Please.

Love and Cell Phones,

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