by humanmama on October 9, 2011

Although I often wonder where we’d be today without cell phones, I also worry about where kids today are headed. Can you even remember before everyone and anyone had a cell phone? I see 9-year-olds and 90-year-olds talking on phones, and it is just amazing that just 10 or 12 years ago not everyone had a cell phone, and certainly not a camera phone or video phone. Definitely not internet-capable phones, and who ever heard of apps?!

My kids are not going to believe me when I tell them that there was a time before cell phones. I read once that there weren’t cell phones cameras during 9/11–obviously, since then there would have been a million text messages, and photos, and videos of the planes hitting the towers immediately, or of the towers coming down. Scary, but true. Maybe it’s good that we didn’t have camera phones then, in that case.

What age do you think phones should be given to your kids? At the same time that I don’t want my 8-year-old to hold up a signal hand to me and say “shh, I’m on the phone,” I also realize that there are times I will want my older kids to have a phone that I can keep control of (somewhat), and that’s how I’ll track them like an FBI agent. Probably. What do you think? I know of a few 12-year-olds with phones, and as long as they aren’t on them all the time and have some rules, it seems like it works out okay.

The real thing I’m worried about is not the cell-phone instant-communication era where people can try to call you and email and text you 5 different ways before they begin thinking “SOMETHING IS WRONG” (even if you’re just taking a poo) is not that my kids will be too ADHD in their interactions with people. My real fear is that we will begin being less intelligent because of it. My teacher friends already relate stories of term papers dotted with phrases like “R U intrestd in knowing abt Abe Linkn?” That frightens me. And I can definitely shudder over the essay entitled “@Hitler–the cause of #WWII.”

I guess that means I’ll have to teach my children to be more connected, more intelligent, and more aware at home. Shoot! Why do I always have to do everything?!

Well, I guess that’s just #Motherhood.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cassie October 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Oh, geez. Sometimes I wish I could hough my phone across the street and be done with it. But most the time I’m using it for everything. I even think about if I had to go back to a phone that didn’t send me my emails…what would I do? lol. Kids and phones…I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I think it definitely depends on the kid and what their intentions might be, you know?


Maria October 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

I fantasize about quitting my job so that I can get rid of my blackberry, my iPad, and install a land line.

I will get an old fashioned answering machine that will allow me to screen calls without getting up from my book and if someone calls while I am out during the day, then he or she can just leave me a message.

Also, if you make plans to meet me somewhere at a certain time, you can’t call me to change plans at the last minute and you can’t text me that you’re running late. You have to show up at the appointed place at the appointed time because I do not have a cell phone.

I mourn the courtesy we have lost. Now, “sorry, my phone died” is brandished as an acceptable excuse for not returning calls, as though the owner had no control over recharging her device.

While i’m on this rant, and thanks for letting me hijack your blog, let’s talk about the family land line. It used to be that if a relative called to talk to my mom and I answered the phone, I would have to make small talk with that relative until my mom got to the phone. That was a good thing, since I probably wouldn’t speak to that relative more than once a year at a family reunion, if that, otherwise.

So how’s this for a draconian cell phone rule for our children: no cell phones at home. If anyone needs to get hold of you while you are in the house, then she can call the landline and risk speaking to me, or your father, or your siblings. The cell is for emergencies,when you are out. Am I socially dooming my daughter by restricting her ability to socialize via texts and pictures in the evenings? Maybe. But a mother can fantasize, right?


aj October 10, 2011 at 8:53 am

ooh, I love it. Let me know what E. thinks about that rule when she’s 13 :)


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