So, my son is nine now. He's getting to the age where he wants more and more to talk on the phone. I'm a modern man in that I currently don't have a land line. So, I am faced with two choices. Should I... a.) get a land line and let that be the primary phone my son uses or... b.) get him a cell phone. To me, this question had an obvious answer...a.), right? I then began searching my options on re-joining the ranks of the "connected talkers". I used to have Vonage for a period of time. The price was great but the service left much to be desired. There was much "re-booting", reconnecting and when the cable was out, so was the phone. I don't know about ya'll, but when my TV is "unwatchable", I'm usually trying to talk to somebody about why my TV/internet is out. I then called "Ma-Bell" (AT&T). Plain and simple, for what you get and how much it would be used, they are too expensive. I'm currently a Sprint customer and I gave up counting minutes when they came out with the $99 unlimited everything. I saw that Boost Mobile has a $50 unlimited pre-paid plan and some "pay as you go" $1 a day plan. This got me to thinking...it would be cheaper to get my son a mobile phone. Then, I thought, what a minute...my son is on the internet all the time. He's got WiFi on both his Nintendo DS and Wii now and us them to get online. When I was at the inauguration this year, we stayed in touch via "G-Talk" and email. I'm getting him his own computer this summer...a kid that can handle all this "technology" can't handle a mobile phone? I had to "re-think" my response to the question.
I now believe that I could impose "land line rules" to his mobile phone usage...couldn't I? Do I really want my son to be going off to middle or high school and just be learning the art of "texting"? I don't think so. I then thought back to when "beepers" were all the rage. I can remember the "powers that be" at that time would say things like, "if you're not a doctor, you don't need a beeper. You look like a drug dealer." Of course, this wasn't true at all. At that time, beepers were becoming "the" way for people to keep in touch. I was starting to sound like an out dated, antiquated parent who wasn't parenting out of reason but out of "how I was raised" or what I don't think a 9 year old "should" have.
Mobile phones are tools. As long as I monitor my son's usage and impose some reasonable limitaions, it's my belief that it won't be the end of the world when he's texting me from my mom's house next time he spends the night...
I'm Thed Weller and I approve this message.