small people, big phones

My children have cell phones. Their friends have cell phones. Cell phones serve a purpose and I don’t want to argue about what others have said so clearly. I do want to point out two things.

First, parents need to have identifying information in their child’s phone so that it can be returned to the rightful owner if it is misplaced. I have “ICE” listed in the address book on all the cell phones in our house, you could also register for DNC/DND if you do not want to recieve marketing calls and messages. The original purpose of ICE was to let emergency personnel know who to contact in case of an emergency, but it would have made returning the phone that someone left in the elementary school’s lost and found easier and quicker.

Second and more importantly, even though American Tourister needs to make cell phones for tweens/teens, breakage is not the worst thing that can happen to your child’s phone. Insurance accommodates phones soaked in pockets while practicing marching band in the pouring rain. It’s not even the dreaded cell phone thieves that are absolutely everywhere. Remember how upset Marsha was about the possibility of someone else reading her diary? Cell phones are the new diary. They are filled with facebook posts, text messages and pictures. Middle school boys have learned that “borrowing” a girl’s cell can reveal all kinds of embarrassing details. Nobody wants the entire school to know that, “if u lk me pls lt me knw cuz i lk u.” Aside from the embarrassing lack of English comprehension glimpses into your soul, there is the very real possibility that a girl’s phone has pictures you wouldn’t find published in the school yearbook.

There were more tears shed over a single missing cell phone at the middle school dance than all the histrionic drama about boys. Eventually the phone was found on a counter in the boys’ bathroom. It wasn’t stolen. It was used for espionage. Putting ICE in the phone is easy. Teaching hormonal teens that anything they write, type, text or photo is potentially public is much, much more complicated. It’s not just teens that struggle to understand this. Full grown adults are still whining about facebook not respecting their privacy.

5 thoughts on “small people, big phones

  1. For all the advantages modern youth may have over me in a variety of areas, I shall go to my grave eternally grateful that I did not have to suffer through puberty and adolesence during the digital age.

    Re: Facebook privacy, I share your frame of mind on some of the overly dramatic reaction to news of late.

  2. I totally use my sons phone for espionage. However, I’m not sure how I can use that information because I want him to have the illusion of privacy. For example, I found out a friend that got him in trouble with me the other day is smoking pot. D told me himself that is friend is sexually active. I’m not sure whether to tell his parents or not, but at least my son gave him some condoms. Being a parent of teens is hard! lol

  3. I’m surprise more teens aren’t more apt to password protect their phones… but I guess that might slow down their texting a bit.

    I don’t agree with you however about Facebook. Their bait and switch tactics. Is it true that there is less privacy in the world? Of course. But that doesn’t give them the right to decide what you SHOULD make public. simply because they have a whim, and decide to opt me into it.

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