Giving in to Pop Culture. At Back to School Time, I’m Guilty.

On the Phone...again.

It’s back-to-school time. Time to get new clothes for the kids, pencils, binders, paper, and on and on. The way school funding is going we’ll be sending kids to school with their own desks and chairs in years to come. Shhhh…don’t let that idea get out. Some legislator might think its a good idea

My wife finally twisted my arm enough to get a cell phone for my 13-year-old daughter. She received it yesterday and screamed so loud I’m sure the fire department was put on ready alert.

I’m really happy my sweet girl is happy. But I wish I hadn’t been put in position to need to get this phone for her. I blame YOU. YOU, all the parents who bought their adolescents cell phones to play with and talk on and ignore other live human beings and discourteously interrupt live in-person conversations in order to respond to a text or a call. It’s an annoyance I will now have to tolerate.

A Nokia 6280 mobile phone (A1-edition), an UMT...

I never wanted to get my 8th grader a cell phone because she seldom goes anywhere and I didn’t feel she had a need. My thinking is she could have one by the time she was in high school and more frequently away from our home and school than she is now. And since there wasn’t a need I didn’t wish to receive the additional expense on our household budget.

My lovely and thoughtful wife has lobbied for our daughter to have this phone for more than a year. She feels it’s a security issue and makes reaching her easier. I dismissed this argument by correctly pointing out that our still-little girl spends 98% of her time at home or at school. And when at school if she ever needs to reach Mom or Dad she need only borrow the cell phone of any other kid, since they ALL have one. THIS is the argument that my wife used against me. I was repeatedly urged to give in because of the peer pressure exerted on a teen by their contemporaries who all have phones. I was told not having a phone made my daughter an outcast or an odd-ball who would be subject of teasing and that she might be ostracized. When she was in 6th and 7th grade and 12-13 years old I didn’t worry about THAT too much. But I had to admit as she got older my wife’s argument turned my thoughts.

As we all know teens can be cruel. Teasing and bullying have always existed and have always made the teen years tough. I honestly never understood those who referred to the “teen years” as “the best years of your life”. They were the worst years of my life. So insecure; so unsure of the direction of my life. Even if I could magically go back and live those years again with the knowledge I have now I wouldn’t do it.

So my daughter has a cell phone and we have an added, and in large part unnecessary, household expense because society has been sold a bill-of-goods in believing everyone, even kids, need the little hand-held device that dehumanize so many of us. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

OK…truth be told my wife’s final offer that convinced me to get our daughter a phone came down to a trade. She agreed with me to cancel our home land-line phone service in exchange for getting the cell phone. The home phone line is used only by my wife when talking to her Mom, and by my daughter. Now we won’t have the home phone and it’s $60 per month expense. But between my 20-year-old son, wife, 13-year-old, and my home office we still have 5 phone lines coming into our home. I think we’re covered.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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