Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kids and Cell Phones

I've thought about this whole debate a lot. I'm one of those people appalled at how the "next generation" is shaping up. It's one of the few things I'm not optimistic about. The reason it worries me so much is that one of my worst nightmares is having a kid that turns out to be a brat. My worst nightmare is having a kid I end up not liking very much. Of course, I'll have a lot to do with that, so these kinds of issues are on my mind.

Should a child have a cellphone? If so, at what age? What kind of restrictions should be placed on them?

It's a big issue, and I just read a pretty cool article about it over here.

My favorite graph:

Not only can you check your kids' whereabouts, but for an extra fee, you can have the system alert you whenever your kid goes beyond preset boundaries. That's right, you can be sitting there innocently surfing hard-core German fetish porn when -- beep-beep-beep -- an alarm goes off letting you know little Dakota has crossed the half-mile radius of the house and might be ... I don't know what. Smoking. Playing with matches. Joining the Taliban.

Some of these phones have GPS in them, and my first reaction is "great!" If my kid wants a phone (and here I'm thinking of teenagers) then you have to deal with the fact that I'll know where you are at all times.

Right now I still see cell phones for pre-college kids as something they want, not something that is necessary. I still don't see it as a "safety tool." Let's face it, I just got a cell phone a couple of years ago. At age 23.

So when I look back at my childhood/teenage-essence, I don't think it's necessary to have a phone. Does it make things easier? Sure. But do the negatives (becoming "one of those" people at such a young age (they'll have their college years to get into "that" phase), relying too much on technology, etc.) outweigh the positives (essentially, convenience and peace of mind)?

I don't know, but it's something to think of and figure out before you find yourself with a teenager who is addicted to being on the phone.


Post a Comment

<< Home