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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

To phone or not to phone

Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at 2:55 PM

My oldest daughter recently celebrated her 14th birthday and at the top of her wish list was a common theme: a cell phone.

And once again, her birthday came and went without the purchase of a cell phone for her. That doesn't mean the begging stopped. Rather, her persistence just continued with a different reason behind it: end of school's first quarter, Christmas, Boxing Day in Canada.

I'm not against cell phones. My husband and I both have one and regularly let our oldest children borrow them for short periods of time. But the phones are always returned immediately upon their return before much damage can be done such as hours of needless phone calls, infinite text messages or everyone's personal favorite: the lost phone. (If I could get back all the time I have spent looking for lost cell phones, I would have likely mastered violin playing by now, plus knitted new mittens for all my children. Yes, my phone goes missing that much.)

Along with not wanting to monitor phone bills for overusage and inappropriate calls, my primary reason against the phone is their ease in being misplaced. Until I can go entire school morning without my children looking for a lost library book, a forgotten knee pad or that one shoe which wandered off on its' own, I'm not investing in another cell phone.

My daughter is one of the few persons her age without a cell phone for regular use -- according to her -- and I tend to believe her. It's impossible to go out these days without seeing a teenager or tween not on a cell phone.

By now, I've heard every excuse in the book why my daughter should have a phone starting with the most infamous: "Everyone else has one."

My response, "That's great for everyone else." (At this point, I hold my tongue to answer with that most tired response, If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it to? which I promised myself I would never repeat.)

Then there is the guilt trip excuse: "What if there is an emergency and I need to call you?"

Simply solved, "You can just borrow a cell phone from a friend/coach's/person-walking-down-the-street if you need to call home."

That is usually quickly followed by scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrell excuse, "What if that person's phone was dead?"

Once again, "Find another person with a phone or go find that oldied-but-goodie: a land line."

When I was growing up, it was a privilege to have a "teen line," that is a second line dedicated to teenagers wasting hours on phone talking to friends. Needless to say, I never had a teen-line. If I wanted to talk to my best friend for hours, I plodded through a field and over the hill to her house to see her in person.

While it may fall on deaf ears, I've tried explaining multiple times that I managed to get through childhood without a phone stuck in my pocket. Generations before them managed to function without being in constant contact with others on personal cell phone. And society will continue to function regardless of a person's cell phone ownership.

In fact, I admit that occasionally I leave my phone at home just so I can't be reached. What a thrill to be out of contact with everyone if just for a few hours....a concept my teenage daughter cannot grasp.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

When I retired, so did my Cell. The silence has been music to my ears, and I no longer worry about the battery going flat while in conversation. Yeee-Haaa!!! and AMEN

My Cell phone hours are now spent on the Bible, and Poetry. MMmmm-MMmmmm-Good.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 4:12 PM

The compromise we reached with our oldest, was that he got a Net10 phone for Christmas, loaded with 300 minutes, with the understanding that he was to buy his own phone cards as his minutes expired: whether by babysitting or helping grandparents with yard work, etc. That lasted 7 months. Then he blew all his babysitting money on a new video game system and whined when his cell phone ran out of minutes. I figure if having a cell phone had been that important to him, he would have budgeted accordingly. I'm one of those mean moms. :)

-- Posted by saveryhinze on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 4:12 PM

Cell phones........ can't stand to hear them ring, can't live without them. I have disposed of at least 3 perfectly functioning mobile phones via means of throwing, dousing, or crushing.... in that order, because they rang one too many times by 7:30 AM. It's amazing how one adapts to technology... all these Personal Data Devises are like cigarettes for the mind.... I hate em!

Your daughter is right..... everyone has them. It's nice to stay connected to my children that are busy in sports, 3 in volleyball, 1 of which is also on swim team. We can't be everywhere at once so we stay on top of the evenings events this way. Watch one daughter's volleyball game in North Platte while getting photos of the swim meet in Hastings. It's a sad day when we turn to the phone to "Enjoy our children's sports". Thanks Rhonda... how depressing!

PensiveObserver signing off.... of the Blackberry!

-- Posted by PensiveObserver on Thu, Oct 7, 2010, at 10:06 PM

Those bloody teli's are an unneeded toy for younsters and fully growns alike. Too much of the American's lives are rushed. Time is needed to smell the knocking blooms.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Tue, Oct 12, 2010, at 12:06 AM

Although I absolutely hate paying the cell phone bill, I absolutely love having immediate contact with my kids if only by text. It's the world we live in. Sometimes I just text to tell them I love them and always get the same reply back. I hate being accessible 24/7 to everyone but would die if I wasn't accessible 24/7 to my kids . . . yes, even if only by cell phone!

-- Posted by MakingApoint on Thu, Oct 14, 2010, at 12:24 PM

We resisted cell phones for the kids until they were old enough to drive independently.

The thing we learned is unlimited texting for the kids' phone is the way to go - financially. While we set limits for our kids, we could not control who was sending them text messages. But that may depend on the plan and which carrier you have.

In fact, we ditched the land lines now altogether and only have cell phones because we now have excellent reception.


-- Posted by coolidge on Sun, Oct 24, 2010, at 9:33 AM

My daughter is out... the phone just rang... caller id on the TV said it was her anyway. So she is talking to her mother right now.

-- Posted by posture on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 6:57 PM

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Ronda Graff
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