2013 01/06

Kids with Cell Phones! Run!!!

Sometimes I look at kids gabbing away on their cell phones and think, “Really? Do kids really need cell phones at such a young age?” Then I grab my walker and head off to dinner at 4:30pm to get those early bird specials.

Seriously! When did I turn into a such an old-biddy? “I remember when I was your age! Our phones were still plugged into the wall. When we took pictures we had to wait a week before we could see them. And if we wanted to share that picture with friends we had to actually go see them and hand them the picture! And we had to walk uphill both ways to get there!!!”

Sounds silly but most of that is true. My family’s very first cell phone was an old bag phone. Like this one:

motorola_bag_phone-lg

And the only time you would dare to use it was to call 911!

My first cell phone was given to me my sophomore year of college. Strictly to keep in my car for emergencies during my 5 hour drive from college to home. It weighed a ton! Service was spotty at best. And I had a total of 20 free minutes on my plan before I would be charged a crazy amount of money per minute.

But it wasn’t a big deal. No one carried around cell phones in college. Everyone had phones in their apartments or dorm rooms.

Fast forward years later and cell phones have gone through a myriad of changes. And, now with kids of my own quickly reaching the oh-so-independent teen years, my thoughts on kids with cell phones are changing as well.

We don’t have a home phone. We never have. And there will come a day when I can actually leave my kids at home while I go do whatever it is parents actually do without kids in tow. But I don’t want to leave my kids without a way to reach me.

And there will come ad ay when my kids leave the house without me and do whatever it is kids do without parents in tow. But I still want a way to reach my kids.

So I’ll just say it: Yes, when my kids reach the preteen/teen years, they will have cell phones. Most likely smart phones if they aren’t obsolete in the next few years. Or maybe not, if the zombies take over and all.

Sure, we’ll need to discuss {and beat it through their brains} what it means to be responsible with a cell phone, both with the phone itself (please, Lord, don’t let them get their cell phone care habits from their dad) and with what they do with their phones (kids texting/facebooking scares the bejezus out of me!).

I also love knowing that their smartphones can have family-connection apps like Family By Sygic on them. A great way to simply check in on your kids without bugging them or them knowing you’re checking in on them. Alerts sent to you when your kid enters or leaves a “safe zone” (i.e. their destination/friend’s house). Alerts sent to you when they enter an “unsafe zone” (i.e. the mall). Even the ability to send messages and alerts to the whole family!

sygic

Learn more about Family by Sygic at sygic.com/family or when I wrote about it here and here.

Of course the questions still remain: Who pays for the phone? Monthly bill? Lost phones? Broken phones? Limits on when and where they can use it? That Zombie apocalypse isn’t looking so bad, now is it?

So what do you think about all of this? Do you have kids who are in their preteen or teen years? Do they have their own smartphones? I’d love to hear from you. Tell me your experience with all of this. How did you handle the cell phone thing with your kids or how do you plan to handle it?

I am currently working on an ongoing sponsored campaign with PTPA and Sygic. All opinions are my own.

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