Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Double-edged sword.

I'm a believer in teens having cell phones. My daughters, when they get into their teens, will have 'em zip-tied to their wrists. New ones can dial only approved numbers. You can look up who they're calling, for how long, and when. You can look up their chats. Some, you can even get GPS-enabled.

But beware-- don't get your kiddo a new sexy cell phone, and think that you can cut off his or her Internet access by pulling the laptop from their room. I'm finding more and more underage kids hooking up with older kids/pervert adults, using their web browsers on their phones. These are NOT iPhones, people. This is 1999 technology.

You want to trust your kid? Awesome. Me too. But understand-- that useful tool that is the Internet browser on her useful tool that is her cell phone is a very, very sharp double-edged sword, that can leave quite a mark, if misused.

Just like the gun in my pocket right now-- it's nothing but a tool. But we have to respect tools, and we don't let kids play with them.

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5 Comments:

At Monday, January 12, 2009 8:33:00 AM, Blogger Sabra said...

My phone cannot even download ringtones. It can, however, connect to the internet.

Of course, with my el cheapo service provider (Cricket), if you don't pay upfront for a plan with internet access, you're not getting internet access. I don't know how the major carriers work, though.

 
At Monday, January 12, 2009 7:46:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Excellent point Matt, one advantage is that you can select plans now that limit/deny internet access from cells, in addition you can limit text messaging also. If you aren't careful, it can cost a BUNCH! While I was in Japan, there was a big to do over a teen that had run up $3000 of internet use in 30 days on her cell phone, "because she though it was free"! In fact, it was by the minute usage!!!

 
At Tuesday, January 13, 2009 5:46:00 PM, Blogger night lightning woman said...

Your last comment reminded me of my deliberate mantra when you and your brother were little: "A knife is a tool It is not to play with.""A shovel is a tool, It is not to play with." "A hammer is a tool, it is not to play with." "A gun is a tool, it is not to play with." I think there was something about using that tool under parental supervision. I see that now I would have to add technology to that mantra. Which is confusing, because some of it IS to play with. Good post.

 
At Wednesday, January 14, 2009 10:25:00 AM, Blogger JPG said...

My wife and some girl friends spent a few days at a resort time share last year. While leaving, she dropped her cell phone on the parking lot and didn’t even notice at the time. Two days later, I got a call on my phone from a lady who’d discovered her teen age daughter busily texting away on a phone mom had never seen. She had a very firm heart-to-heart with the girl and they immediately express mailed the phone home promising to pay any charges incurred.

A check with the billing office showed that, in a day and a half, the girl had put well over 300 text messages on it, and downloaded some custom ring tones. Mom sent a $76 check and her assurances that stringent measures were being taken.

We felt fortunate that an alert and responsible parent had done the right thing.

JPG

 
At Sunday, January 18, 2009 7:51:00 AM, Blogger KD5NRH said...

Actually, those charges are usually per kilobyte. When we got our current plan, I did the math and decided that, since about three Google searches would cost more than the monthly charge for unlimited, we'd just shell out the extra few bucks a month to not have to worry about it, and be able to surf as much as I want.
For some reason they still itemize the internet usage, just at $0.00/k. I've checked a few bills, and would have spent well into six figures in the last six months without unlimited internet.

 

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