Jan 8, 2013

18 Reasons Why My Teen Won't Have a Smartphone

A mom's 18-point contract spelling the rules for her teen's new iPhone went viral in recent days.  She mostly received praise from parents for enforcing responsible smartphone use by her son.

I think handing over an iPhone to a teen is a bad idea.

Pigtails, here are 18 reasons why you won't have a smartphone when you're a teen.


  1. If dad gets by okay without a smartphone, so can you.
  2. Plans are $70 a month.  That's $3360 in four years of high school.  I can think of a lot better ways to spend $3360 than on a phone.  Like college, my retirement, new ears or a family trip to Europe.
  3. 20% of kids admit to sexting photos.  Imagine the percentage if you factor in those that don't fess up.
  4. 40% of teens admit to sexting explicit messages.  
  5. Online reputation is important today.  It will be even more so in 10 years.  A stupid mistake made by a kid now lives on the web forever.  Your future employer will find it with a simple Google search.
  6. You're in school to learn, not to exchange 4,050 texts a month (average for girls). 
  7. If you need the Internet for research, you may use a school or home computer out in the open.  Letting junior rip on the web alone with a phone is a basket of disaster.
  8. Teens with smartphones are annoying.  Go to any public spot where herds congregate, noses pressed to palm, you'll agree.
  9. If you bust an iPhone, the replacement cost is $600.  You don't have $600.  #nuffsaid
  10. Nearly 50% of all teens with smartphones are sexually active.  Teens with 'net access on their phone are twice as likely to engage in sex with a stranger
  11. "Everyone else is doing it" is a weak argument for going with the flow.
  12. Many kids today have an attitude of entitlement.  I will not fuel this attitude in you.
  13. If you want a smartphone, you pay for it.  However, you won't want to, since I'll teach you saving and investing are important, spending $3360 on a phone is not.  Most income earned as a teen will funnel into your college 529 plan. 
  14. Cell phones are not allowed at the high school you'll be enrolled at. 
  15. Smartphone check-ins using Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter allow creepy perps to track your whereabouts.
  16. Teens driving cars is dangerous, much more so while texting.
  17. Parents, do a quick search on the Snapchat app, its popularity with teens and them naively believing the uncouth photos they snap are temporary.
  18. Pigtails, dad loves you and knows it's best if you don't have a smartphone until you're older and ready for it.  Trust me on this one.
A basic cell phone that only sends and receives calls on an inexpensive prepaid plan might be on the bargaining table when she's older.  We'll see.

What do you think?  Comments or vote in the poll up top.




-Beard

117 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you -- our 16 year old has a plain jane cell phone that we pay an extra $10 a month for. She knows that she has it for OUR convenience, not for her enjoyment. It has actually been a nice bit of leverage here and there when attitudes get a bit wonky. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What, teen girls never cop an attitude*?

      *Riiight.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous7/26/2013

      I am going into 7th grade and I don't know what to do. I am a loner with NO friends because I don't have a smartphone. No one in my class really interacts with me because we can't relate, and I'm "uncool." All everyone ever talks about is snapchat, instagram,facetime, and other apps. My parents say I'm too young to have one, even though I am very responsible and get all A's. I even offered to pay for the phone and monthly plan, but they still said no way. HElP! Any ideas on what to do?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous7/26/2013

      Transfer schools or try to make friends outside of school.

      Delete
    4. Phones are played out and not really that important on the friend scale. Back when I was in middle school, the cool kids clamored over a specific model of Nike Air Jordans. Looking back now, it seems silly that possessions matter when it comes to friends and relationships. Find kids like yourself and don't be afraid to be different. The truly cool people in life often didn't worry about fitting in...Elon Musk, for the win.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous5/07/2014

      Hahah phones are nothing! Im in 8th grade nearing the end of my school and I have literally been fine w/ out a phone all this time. And about the friend thing? rigggght. Because people come up to you and ask "you got a phone? If not, we cant be friends" Youll be fine Anon. Youll be fine.

      Delete
    6. I am a freshman in high school and I don't have a phone. Its sad that you grade schoolers believe that you guys need phones. I thought i was super cool when i had a phone. I got to cocky and in a blink of an eye, I got it taken away.... Its not what its cracked up to be, SERIOUSLY!!!

      Delete
    7. Anonymous7/17/2014

      There are smartphones that cost $150-300 and you pay from $5-40 per month. If you are smart enough than you might get your child one of those phones. HERE'S A LINK: https://republicwireless.com/plans
      + It is a top affordable android phone- Moto X + Moto G
      I don't agree with you. You have to build trust between you and your child to get him or her a smartphone for very little money. You can also set rules and limits. Your child should learn to accept these rules.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous7/20/2014

      I'm trying to get an Iphone, I'm responsible and very Mature I can handle it but my mom doesn't think so... :(

      Delete
    9. Anonymous8/03/2015

      I hate to be another STUDENT telling you this, but I have to admit I agree with your mom on this one.

      Phones are for, in fact I am working this from my nexus. I do agree you get a phone, just not an iPhone. They are trash for phones at a lower price point.

      I would prefer you get a moto g at the very least, save your mom some money, then when you are older, your can get an iPhone or whatever, that's your choice. Though I'm warning you, iphones suck.

      Best options for you are moto e, moto g or a nexus 5.

      Delete
  2. I got my first cell phone at 16 (it wasn't a smartphone, but a flip phone that could connect to the internet & I did text on it). My mom thought it was a must when I was driving. We lived by a lot of country roads that can be bad in the winter (you know Iowa roads...). I had to pay for the monthly plan and I never got in trouble with my phone, I always got into trouble on the computer. My mom's policy was "I can and will check it at anytime".

    I think banning a phone is kind of silly, just put rules on it. Make her pay for the plan when she gets a job and starts driving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHAT, YOUR MOM THOUGHT IT A MUST TO TEXT WHILE DRIVING!? Just kidding, in the situation of a teen driving on lonely country roads, a simple phone is probably a safe bet.

      Delete
    2. I think that you are wrong. Ur kid need a social life and she doesn't want to end up like me in high school phoneless I don't even have a phone I would want a flip phone while my mom dad and grandma have iphones. I can never keep contact with anyone bc im not using my moms hone and I have no texts or invites anywhere bc of that so get ur kid a phone

      Delete
  3. All valid reasons...and not just that - but good too! I know my girl, and my boy, will have phones - but at this point, I don't see the value in a 'smart' phone for a teen. A basic phone should do...heck....'WHEN I WAS A KID.................'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll soon be in the minority, within a couple years over 50% of teens will have smartphones. Tremendous pressure from my daughter for one when she's that age, can't wait.

      When I was a kid, we played phone with two paper cups coupled together with string.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous7/17/2014

      That was ancient times... teens have to be responsible for them to get a cell phone in the first place.

      IT'S 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
  4. Anonymous1/08/2013

    Three comments. First, I agree. Second, what on earth do these young kids need with a cell anyway? Seriously. Third, while your kid may follow the rules, the truth is other kids will not. You're opening your kid up to potential mayhem. Plus, ask most any teacher and they'll boldly tell you what they think of cell phones. Bravo Beard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your third point is my main one. While I think there's a fair chance my daughter would use a smartphone responsibly, she'd have zero control over, say, a lewd photo arriving by someone else via text, e-mail or Snapchat.

      Delete
  5. I work with the high school youth at church and most of them cannot interact without their smartphones in their hands. Kudos to you Beard!

    Also, I love that you have the same phone we had when I was a kid with the super long cord. I remember having to dangle the receiver and let it spin to get all the kinks out of the chord.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they are reading the Bible on their smartphones?

      We dug that old phone out of the playroom tonight for the photo. It does bring back the memories, mom and her coiled 40 foot phone cord. She could reach any room in the house with that thing, wireless before wireless existed.

      Delete
  6. Beard, I have to admit that I think you're a little harsh sometimes, but I agree with you on this one. My husband and I don't have smartphones. We use the free-after-rebate Verizon phones with a very basic plan because we can't stand the thought of paying hundreds every month on phone plans. When are we ever more than 10 steps away from a computer at work or at home? And I have yet to find myself stuck in a situation on the road in which a data plan would have saved the day. Who knows what kind of phones will exist by the time our (future) children are teenagers, but it's going to be a tough sell in our family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree, I use a crusty 7-year-old flip phone, simply because the monthly plan is cheap and hasn't gone up in that time. No texting plan on it, so I get charged with each incoming text. My favorite is when someone texts me, I text back "please call so I don't get charged," and they text back "Okay." #20cents

      Delete
  7. I agree, too. And I have many years until my kid is a teen. There will be something else by then. I don't have and don't want a smartphone. It feels good, no GREAT, to not be connected all the time. I think that some people don't know how to be "alone" anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, I can't wait to get out of the city and into green Iowa countryside, away from humans.

      Delete
  8. Bravo Beard! I went over to the link to read it before I read the rest of your post and my mouth nearly hit the floor when she said her son was only 13 and then that he 'deserved' it. Come on. I do think her intentions and a lot of the rules were a great conversation starter to have with kids though (ie. anything you do on the internet will be around for a very long time). I am on board with resisting the smart phones. My 10 year old daughter asked if she could have a phone when she was 11 (she goes to some activities where she could potentially use it to call me if needed but that is stretching the 'need') because all her cousins did. I told her I had an old flip phone in the drawer somewhere that I would consider buying a prepaid card for...maybe. Her response? 'I was thinking more along the lines of a Samsung Galaxy'. I am surprised you didn't hear me laughing from Minnesota.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come off it, handing over the keys of a smartphone to a 13-year-old is stupid. Nothing good's coming out of that one, but I can think of at least 18 reasons not to go there. That's $5,000 in monthly fees through age 18.

      I hope parents are as eager investing in college 529 plans as they are in smartphone monthly fees. Hint hint, mom and dad, you probably want a few tens of thousands (at least) saved up by the time they're 18 to help get precious started in college.

      Since people are willing to pay thousands $$ in monthly fees over the years, I purchased stock in Verizon and some others.

      Delete
  9. I think I agree...with you...for Pigtails.
    There were no smartphones when my Oldest was a teen. He bought his himself in his 20's. Ditto for Middle.
    Youngest was a different matter - highly sensitive to rules, I never worried about him having one. It was never on at school and he was not involved in social networking till this year (college) and can make his own rules.
    One caveat - he has a medical condition that has often required him contacting me immediately via text. It may very well have saved his life. But that's a special circumstance that Pigtails need not concern herself with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great, now Pigtails will read your note, fake a special circumstance and I'm toast.

      Delete
    2. She'll never get away with it...she's too honest and sweet.

      Delete
  10. I don't think kids/teens need smartphones either but what about an ipod touch? It does all the same things and you already have one. I'm sure she'll need email for school, even the simplest of phones has texting on it and it's just as easy to sign up for a text free account on the internet. With a good head on her shoulders, it doesn't really matter what phone she has.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pigtails does play games on my iTouch sometimes, Diner Dash and Stack the States. Sometimes she messages Curls and her cousin, that's the extent of her use.

      My punk will use a home laptop out in the open for e-mail and 'net use when she's older vs. unrestricted access alone in her room. Read up on the Snapchat app.

      Delete
  11. I got my first cell phone in middle school to share with my siblings. We all had them by high school but I didn't get a smart phone until college. Now I can't live without it for work but I also hate paying for it. My brother (17) finagled his way to a smart phone earlier on but uses it primarily for being annoying. He had an ipod touch before though which he also got for a Christmas present. My sister also got one in exchange for her Christmas present one year. However, even sans smart phones, we got in trouble for texting obscene amounts (back when they were 10 cents each, those added up). And I disagree with #10 because I think the LA school district is really different from where I grew up but nonetheless, still a scary statistic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sexting stats scare me.

      While I doubt my kid would distribute photos of her junk, I'd worry about incoming 'where the sun don't shine' snaps and messages from others. She'll have a better chance of an untarnished online reputation if she's monitored through the growing years.

      Delete
  12. Both of my teens have smartphones (believe it or not their iPhones were free and the plan, after everything was figured in, was cheaper than going with non-smartphones). With the oldest driving to school, church and work every day and the youngest's swim schedule, it's a lifesaver. The ability to get in touch with either son at any time (school not included) brings peace to this mama's soul. We've put very strict limitations on what they can and cannot do with them and they're good, responsible boys.

    Basically, I do believe it all boils down to teaching your children responsibility and having a very open and frank relationship with them. If you're doing your job as a parent to raise Pigtails right (which I firmly believe that you are, based on everything I've read), then you won't have to worry as much about her making poor decisions. Remember, kids that want to do something that their parents don't approve of are going to do so with or without the aid of technology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Basic prepaid cell plans are $15 a month ($180/yr). Around here, I haven't seen smartphone plans less than $70 a month ($840/yr) on a 2-yr contract. Are you able to get smartphone plans for less than $180 a year?

      I have less of a problem with plain jane cells for teens than smartphones, big difference there. I don't assume that a 13-year-old is mature enough to handle a smartphone, regardless of how they are raised.

      Delete
  13. Beard - I think you're DEAD ON BALL ACCURATE (5 points and a high five if you can name that movie). I got my first phone when I was 15. And it was JUST A PHONE. Literally could make just phone calls. My parents were smart enough to disable and "child-proof" the phone so I couldn't text or go on the internet (even if I wanted to).

    Now that I'm older, and little wiser, I have an iPhone (because I actually paid for it with hard-earned money), and I'm finding that I don't really need half the crap that it allows me to do. I'm thankful I'm not like the kids/teens/adults I see these days...sitting at the dinner table with their parents and famillies, and they're all playing Words With Friends, or screwing around on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. I'm pretty sure if they were forced to have an ACTUAL conversation, they wouldn't know how... all you would get would be "ummmmmm....".

    So cheers to you! Give her one of those trak-phones...LOL, and good luck!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cousin Vinny? I cheated.

      I'm going to market an ugly 1990s-era shoulder mounted cell for parents of teens. Sort of the orthodontic headgear of the cell phone world.

      Delete
    2. That's fine - you still get a high five :)

      And definitely market that - I would buy my (hypothetical) kid that. DEFINITELY.

      Delete
  14. Completely agree. My college kid still doesn't have a smartphone. Our agreement is that he may have one when he pays for it himself.

    I provided him a similar list to that mom's when he got a plain old cell phone - which was only issued when he got to an age where he went places without me, and I was clear that the phone was being provided for my convenience and not his.

    That being said, I love my iPhone. But I'm grown. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm addicted to my iPad, that big retina-screened mother is sweet.

      Delete
    2. You're grown. What does that change?

      Delete
  15. I think you're right, but be careful. It's important to give kids enough freedom while they're young so that they can learn how to behave responsibly and make good decisions on their own while they're still ultimately under your watchful eye. If you control her too much while she's in high school, you may end up with a pretty rebellious college kid on your hands.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm certain that no kid in the history of mankind has turned rebellious in college because their parents didn't buy them a smartphone in high school. But many do rebel for missing non-tangibles from their folks, like love, discipline or attention. I give Pigtails all of these in spades, so I'm not worried she'll be rebellious.

      She'll learn how to behave responsibly without a device.

      Delete
  16. Right on, Beard!! We are having our first kiddo, and naturally we are talking about how kids (even 1 to 3 yr olds) these days have cell phones, iPod touches, Nintendo DS's, Kindle's, Nooks, etc. It's insane. We plan on encouraging our boy's imagination and ability to entertain himself with books, puzzles, forts, etc!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People are trained up from young sprouts to expect to be constantly entertained. That's why minivans have multi-screen DVDs playing Pixar flicks and snot tiny nosed tots banging on Nintendo handhelds.

      My brat and I make a deliberate, focused effort each day for quiet family time. Dinner at the table with no distractions, we talk in the car on long trips or play 'I Spy', Othello and card games nearly every night. Some might think this is boring, but we think others are missing out...

      Delete
    2. Actually 90's kids especially kids born in 96 and earlier, are being born around technology. Technology is in our nature. I'm 14 and people around my age are the first of a new generation of people. We are the first to be born into technology. I'm 14 and I got my first iPod touch and phone when I was 8 (in 3rd grade) It was a basic Samsung phone. I used that phone for 3 years. It broke, then I got another Samsung. One with a slide out keyboard. It broke. And I went a year without a phone. In 7th grade I got the iPod 4. I still have it. Last year I got another Samsung phone. Still no smartphone. My mom said I could get a smartphone when I turn 16.(when I get a part time job). I don't disagree with the statement. But I don't like it either. Because everyone else in my school have high dollar smartphones. I'm responsible, and I make good grades, and I am very mature. The only reason I can't have one is because I'm not 16. I've brought up the idea of taking a smartphone and replacing the GSM Sim card with that of a basic phone and only using internet on it when I'm near wifi. It's a very simple idea. It's easy and well thought out. I just really hate the prices for a data plan. But yes. If you don't give your child freedom they will rebel. Even over something as stupid as not getting a smartphone.

      Delete
    3. Have you offered to pay for the data plan yourself? You should be able to get a job at 14, I was pulling in $400 a month at your age.

      Delete
  17. STICK WITH IT. The pressure to cave in and get her one cause everyone else has one will be HUGE. We launched our last (of 6) sans phone. He bought his first one hiimself (at 21). I have a niece that was given a smart phone when she was 6!!!! Tons of drama has followed. It doesn't hurt a kid one bit to be the one with a crazy, strict parent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a tough/boring motha, bring it.

      Age 6, really?

      Delete
  18. AMEN. I just got my first smartphone at 31 years old. My son can get his own after high school. On his dime, of course.
    Linking to this post on my blog for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Digging the link, thanks, um, Gazelle/Wildebeest?

      Delete
  19. Anonymous1/09/2013

    Nice. Old school. If you are considering giving a smart phone to a teen, I like the other lady's approach... seems like a good idea to have those rules. I think you are bth right. What is right for one person, may not be right for another. Was this a contest? Did I win?

    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You win a 7-year-old flip phone.

      Delete
  20. Respectfully disagree, but figured I'd comment just to rep the other side. My son is 12 and has an iPhone 4 that we got for $50 when they were trying to get rid of them. He needed a phone, (needed, imo), and we weren't going to do much better than $50.

    Everyone spends their money how they choose to. I guess I feel like a lot of times I feel like I'm being judged because I choose to spend my money that way. You're saying that 3360 is a lot of money to spend over the course of high school...to me, that's not a lot to spend to be able to have that peace of mind.

    The questions from the non-parents, or the parents of younger kids, as to why a kid that young would need a phone make me laugh, because I, too, wondered that just 3 years ago. Kid was never anywhere without me, do you know how old i was when i got my first cell phone (23), etc. But truth is, the kid is a lot of places without me now. Does he need a smartphone? No, probably not. But here's a funny story. Yesterday he had to tag along with me to an activity for his sister, and then we were going skiing, gonna be home late. Poor planning on our part, but he didn't have his math textbook with him while he waited for his sis to be done. Kid got his textbook website up on the iPhone and did his homework.

    Long comment, just to say that everyone has their own road and I don't think it's fair to say that just because a kid has a smartphone means that they won't be able to have a conversation, will be glued to it, will use it irresponsibly, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The upfront cost of smartphones is irrelevant, you can get them for free these days. The monthly contract is where they rake the dough, $8,400 over ten years. The iPhone 4 you bought your son has a replacement cost of $600 if destroyed.

      Peace of mind through constant-connect can be had for $15 a month with a basic prepaid cell phone. That's a lot more economical way to stay in touch than $70 a month data plan. Without any of the risks that come with unmonitored web access.

      What advantage do you see in a smartphone for a 12-year-old that you don't get with a cell phone?

      I'm shoveling monthly fees into Pigtails' 529 college savings plan.

      Delete
    2. Wah! I just typed a whole reply and it got lost:( I have to get back to work but the gist of it was that I could take buckets of my own money and dump it out the window of a moving train, and I have every right to do so. You can say "That's not something I'm interested in doing." and move on without judging.

      Everyone parents differently, and while I can sit here and explain how he's not getting a free ride with his iphone and that he does contribute towards the bill, which is my way of trying to teach him financial responsibility, I think that misses the point, which is that we all do it our own way and one is not better than the other; just different.

      I feel like your post, and then especially your last line of your response to me, implies that you think you're right and I'm wrong, end of story. Just because you're shoveling money into her 529 doesn't mean that i'm not ALSO doing that, yet that's the tone it carries.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous1/09/2013

    A smart phone? Yes, it makes sense to let your kid foot the bill for that. But giving your teen a phone with text capability is a great tool for parents. If Pigtails was ever in a situation she needed to leave it would be much easier for her to send you a text discretely than to make a phone call (e.g. friend (or other parent even) who is supposed to drive her home has been drinking; uncomfortable about where things are going on a date, etc.)

    We always told our kids that they could always text us to CALL THEM NOW. "What? You need me to come home? But Dad!!" (Knowing that coming home now is exactly what they wanted to do). There are also no excuses for being late, or not keeping in touch about where they are.

    I also agree with the points raised by Sotto Voce. You are raising a good girl. She will still be a good girl as a teen. Yes, she will make some mistakes; but I am confident that you will have instilled in her enough good sense that she won't be sexting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The math doesn't add up for having a 16-year-old pay for a smartphone and plan.

      Kids will have to work 12 hours a month to pay for their data. I'm not a fan of high schoolers working more than 15 hours a week, and mine will channel most of her paycheck towards college.

      I'll toy with the idea of a basic cell phone when she's in high school. Less sure about texting, a smartphone is a no-go.

      Parents seem to provide the most extreme examples to support providing their kids with smartphones and texting, yet often gloss over the ugly data. Like 4,000 texts on average per month by teens, and 4 out of 10 of them are sexting.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/10/2013

      Confused by your reply. I agree a smart phone doesn't make financial sense for teens. You don't need a smart phone for texting. Most parents of teens (it looks like a lot of responses are from parents of young children) have unlimited texting plans -- so basically, it's about $10.00/month for a phone with unlimited texting for your teen. My kids (17, 20, 21 -- all in school, all contribute to their plans) text a lot, but nowhere near 4,000 per month. One reason the text number is so high is that kids often group text. A response of "K" to a text telling 5 kids to meet at the movies at 7:30 is counted as 5 texts. And the sexting thing? Maybe I'm naive, but we TALK WITH our kids about these kinds of things. They understand how stupid and dangerous it is, and how stupid and dangerous it is to post anything on facebook they wouldn't want their grandmother or future boss to see.

      Being reasonable as parents seems to have worked well for us. Our kids have certainly made mistakes, but all three are genuinely good, tender-hearted young people, who are all on the right track. 21 didn't get a phone until he was driving, 20 and 17 got theirs when they started high school.

      The bottom line is that we, as parents, need to be actively involved in our children's upbringing, and make responsible, well-informed decisions. You will know what to do when the time comes.

      Delete
    3. Sounds like you have a solid plan in place, hope I make it through the teen years alive as you have.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous9/19/2013

      A teen paying for a data plan isn't obscured. It teaches financial responsibility. And providing your child with a smartphone isn't about the math adding up. It's about if your child has worked hard enough for it then they deserve it. Whether you like it or not. And there are also "Unlimited text, call, and data plans." So the 4,000 texts a month doesn't really matter. If you go to Boost Mobile. You can get a smartphone with unlimited talk text and Data for $35.00/month. And there are other carriers like that as well. Giving your child an expensive device teaches them responsibility. And almost every other person out there would agree with me.

      Delete
    5. If a kid is going to have a smartphone, absolutely agree they should pay for it. Boost Mobile starts at $50 a month, not $35.

      http://www.boostmobile.com/shop/plans/monthly-unlimited/

      Delete
  22. There is no question in my mind on this one: you are dead on right. My parents had a lovely daughter who they could trust, got good grades, was "close" with them. My mom believed she was my best friend. I love my parents deeply, but holy bejeez were they naive. I did stuff like go on road trips for the weekend WITH THEIR CAR when they believed I was at a church lock in. I'm sorry, but no matter how good a kid seems, a child is a child, and is capable of all kinds of no good! I can't believe the dangerous, illegal, foolish things I did as a teen. My parents had no idea. I made it out unscathed, but believe me, I will not be the naive parent mine were! Computer in family rooms with time limits and monitoring, no smart phones, and so on. Geez, I even figured out how to go around our home security system so my parents wouldn't know I snuck out at night. And don't get me started on sex and birth control. Sigh. My poor, poor parents.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am with you. I taught high school (been out 6 years after having my son) and even then it was crazy what I would see on kids phones --- and that was before the "smartphone" era. I'm always surprised by the idea that cell phones are a "must" for kids - school threats, needing to be picked up from school, etc being cited as the reasons for their necessity. When I was a kid, I could wait until I got home from school to tell my mom about my day and the not so great thing that happened to me. When I was teaching, kids were always going to the "bathroom" .... but really calling mom. I think it is great that we have options to communicate with people but I do wonder about the youth today not developing self-reliance. We also stood in a line and called when we were ready or mom was there at dismissal time and if she had to wait for the bus to make it back to town from the game, she did it. Without complaining.

    You also made a great point in that even if your daughter is responsible and careful, she won't be able to control other teens who send her inappropriate stuff. And no matter how great and well-adjusted a teenager is, it's just brain science that they lack impulse control.

    I can't even imagine what it will be like in 10 years when my little guy is sixteen. And I'll throw in here at the end that he won't have a computer in his room or a tablet that he takes out of the living room or a TV in his room either. I'm totally okay with being a "mean mom".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the note, it's good to hear from someone that's worked the trenches.

      I can't figure out if parents really want their kids to have smartphones or the kids pressure them into it or something else is going on. Are mom and dad insecure and worry their teen won't fit in without one? Or perhaps their kid will 'hate' them if they don't go with the flow?

      On cost alone, unless people are wealthy, paying $3,600 over four years for a kid to have a data plan seems odd. Let's run the numbers, the average cost today of a college 4 year degree is $5,000 a year at state or $25,000 a year private. You know how much the average household saves for college each year...drum roll...$2,600.

      http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/savings-survey/

      Makes sense to me to invest that $3,600 in a 529 savings plan.

      You nailed it, even well behaved, responsible teens raised in a good home with rules and are at the core immature children learning the ropes of life. With strong hormones and peer pressure feeding some seriously fickle impulses.

      Delete
  24. Jeremy1/10/2013

    I love point 8! Have most teens forgotten what it’s like to be a real person and engage with the person sitting next to them without sending them a text or facebooking them? Seriously, I think we are going to create a generation that has no idea how to interact with each other without a screen in front of their faces. Not to mention the damage already done to written communication and grammar.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm one of the people who helped the 18-point contract you're referring to go viral, because I thought it was very insightful. Does that mean that my kids will have smartphones in the next couple of years? No, because I don't think that it's necessary to pay for the expense or to court some of the dangers that you call out. However, some of the author's comments apply to ANY kind of phone that a kid might have... and many of them apply to ANYONE who has a smartphone, regardless of whether they're 15 or 50.

    Some people will use the "I-didn't-have-it-when-I-was-growing-up" argument for things like this, but that ignores the fact that society changes and we must be able to evolve with it. Do I think that my kids should have to send thousands of texts a month? No. Do I think that they should do things just because their friends do it? No. However, do I think that it is important for my kids to be able to relate to and build relationships with kids their own age? Yes, I do. And the reality is that today's youth don't do that only through face-to-face communication. They do it through phone calls and, even more, texting. We've allowed our 11-year-old son to set up an account on his iPod Touch that allows him to FaceTime and text with two of this best friends. The result? Their friendships have become much stronger and they spend more time together -- both via technology AND in person, because through more frequent communication they have become even better friends than they were before. I firmly believe that there are real dangers from these technologies such as you have called out. I also firmly believe that the right answer to that as a parent is not to shelter our children from them to the point that they aren't able to effectively participate in the society that they live in, it's to do our best to educate them about the real dangers.

    In talking to many parents who have older children who we greatly respect and who have raised exceptional young people, we've also heard about the value of being able to call/text with you child in maintaining parent/child communication. For example, a teen is much more likely to text you about what their plans are when they're out with their friends than they are to call you, because their friends won't be able to tell that they're talking to Mommy/Daddy.

    So, smartphones for my teenagers? Not likely. Inexpensive texting phones within the next few years? Absolutely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked the mom's contract, and agree with most of what she has on there. Where it gets wonky is then handing over the keys of an iPhone to a 13-year-old. It's like she has this list of responsibility for her kid, then acts irresponsible herself.

      Pigtails uses my iTouch to message Curls and her cousin, and she most likely will be helping blog here soon. I love technology, don't intend to ban her from it, but we gotta be careful.

      The the cell phone/text thing will come to a head soon. Open to a basic cell, unsure about the texting thing yet.

      Just realized my poll wording up top isn't good, should have been this:

      Smartphone
      Cell and Text
      Cell Only
      None
      Undecided

      Delete
  26. Anonymous1/11/2013

    I teach third grade in a low-income area. The number of my students that have phones is ridiculous. I get the shakes just thinking about it. Your kid can't read, you don't interact with them, let's just throw a phone at them and call it good.

    My boyfriend's kiddos stayed with us for Christmas this year - they are 18 & 14. Neither of them have anything besides a prepaid "emergency" phone that they share. We did a ton of fun stuff together, played board games at night, and my boyfriend let them borrow his phone for about thirty minutes a day to talk to friends. It was so nice to not have them attached to a phone.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I agree completely with all of yours reasons. As much as you can talk to your child about being responsible and as much as they can be responsible, I don't think having a smartphone for a teenager is worth the potential risks it involves. Responsible teenagers are still teenagers and kids are always into more stuff than the parents know. Better to draw the line on the side of caution.

    Also, #15 reminded me of this article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the article, youcher.

      Delete
  28. As a college-aged kid in an ever-growing world, I have to say... I'm glad my mom waited to give me my first phone. And that was certainly not a smartphone. I didn't get my first smartphone until about a year ago, and I'm glad that I waited on that as well. It helps me to really appreciate how valuable it is, but I also learned to live life without it before it was "too late!"

    My parents require me and my sisters (those with smartphones) to pay for our portion of the data plan. The girls without smartphones don't pay, but those that do, do. Even when we don't live in the house anymore. It's frustrating at times when I look at all my spoiled-brat friends but I know that I'm learning a valuable lesson (somehow) and I appreciate my parents for that.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I see what you're saying. I also see someone who has no idea what the deeply scary world of women is like, Nevermind of teenage girls. When I was a teenager, there was always that girl (or two) who's parents wouldn't let her watch TV, have a phone (or heck even use a phone). I always felt bad for them cut off from the world and what was what. They were always isolated and ostracized. Unfortunately those girls were the biggest targets. They never fit in, so they'd always try even harder to impress and ended up making the most mistakes, sleeping with all the losers and being the butt of every joke. Of course unbeknownst to their parents. Not saying a smartphone will stop this from happening...but you can't cage a bird you expect to fly one day. Plus, I think a big problem with teens these days is that they're treated like large children. My parents had us have jobs and the rule was we saved 50%, and could spend the other on whatever we liked. I got a phone. (No smart phones back then). I talked to my friends. I called my parents to pick me up from work. I paid my cell bill on my own. I never posted naked pics because I had parwnts who raised me well and taught me that was a bad idea without even having to say so. Trust her to make the right decisions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what we are saying is Pigtails will rebel and is going goth in 3...2..1...

      Delete
    2. My father refused to get a TV. I felt left out because the next day I could not talk about what was on TV. I was not ostracized or bullied. I was a virgin until I was 20 and married. My siblings and I read, played outdoors, and were not even allowed to use the phone. I wish I had reared my kids with no TV and little phone access. I am far from the loser Katelyn describes. Never mind that was a long time ago when I was growing up. That is not the difference. I sort of doubt the lack in their lives turned them so "bad."

      Maybe girls like Katelyn were the ones who ostracized and bullied other girls.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous1/22/2013

    I agree with some of what you said, although we have very different parenting styles.

    I have a question. You say you will have Pigtails pay for her own smartphone if she wants one in Point 13, and then say most of her money she earns will go towards a college plan. Are you going to dictate where 100% of her earned money goes? Or are you saying, X amount must go towards college, the rest is yours. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cut my paycheck into three slices of pie.

      The majority of income, over 50%, goes into savings.
      The second slice is spent on daily expenses, house and bills.
      The third and smallest slice goes towards charity, tithing and gifts.

      The above has worked out well for me, I don't see any reason why it won't for my daughter. Assuming she works 10 or 12 hours a week in high school, it's unlikely she'll have enough pie left for $70 a month phone.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1/24/2013

      Makes sense. Thanks for your reply. I look forward to a day when I am done paying student loans and can save more than I pay off! Glad to hear you will teach her about tithing early on too.

      Delete
  31. My daughter got a phone in 8th grade, she did not, however, get a smart phone until she had graduated high school --- and then it was a combo graduation/birthday present -- the phone itself was free, so the data plan was the cost incurred in this present. Eighteen, good grades, playing varsity athletics and holding a part time job.... well, I felt she had demonstrated the responsibility required. So far she hasn't let me down.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm catching this a few months late, but I assume you're still taking poll responses. My vote is a cell with texting. You're the parent, and it's up to you to make the best decisions for your kid. I got a cell phone that was calling with the ability to text when I was 16 and driving, but I literally had to cough up 20 cents for every text, so I just told my friends that my phone couldn't receive them! It was nice, however to know that I had the option to text. I agree with a comment up there that said it was great to have if your kid ever got stuck in an awkward situation. A flare- "Dad come get me now." We didn't have smartphones when I was in HS, and I didn't get one until I was married and moved onto my husband's plan. I think with driving (only for breakdowns/emergencies- I'm very much against texting while driving and my future kids will not be talking while driving either!) and sports and school activities and emergencies, a cell phone is a smart idea. My parents didn't trust my younger sister with anything but a prepaid phone for a while (no insane charges), but I suppose it depends on your kid, your rules, and how it all shakes out. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous5/22/2013

    Beard you are just the most annoying,douchy person on the face of the planet. your daughter will 100% get a smartphone as regular phones are dying and by the time she will be phone ready age smartphones will the norm. you cannot control her she is a person and rights and freedom. we all know that in a few years you will cave in a get her a smartphone. right know she goes along with your cute,pretenious, single dad blo but when she old enough to realize your a dick and are treating her like shes your bet shell be sick of you.in conclusion you are a douche and your way of thinking is cruel. we should revoke freedom of speech just so you csnt share your ideas publicly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooked on phonics.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5/22/2013

      give a legimate answer responding to what i saidor elsei assume you have nothing to say as you know im right

      Delete
    3. I don't have a smart phone, so doubtful she will either. Maybe a cell, we'll see.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous5/22/2013

    yah your not a douche at all...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been called worse.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8/09/2015

      What I think of this situation is when I hear people tell stories of their own teenagers and children having/using cell phones and replying with solutions of your post Beard, I don't mean to offend you in any sort of way but it's probably best to accept the truth and solutions based on how you see Pigtails as a kind, innocent girl not wanting to be too exposed to technology such as a smartphone and wasting time from academics and school. Trust me when I say this: I know you want the best for your daughter and by doing so, you're eventually going to have to give her some liberties and rights as part of being a resident in the United States. If she ever does want a cell phone, first let her give her own reasons and see if they would interject or make common sense to what you want it to be. For instance, it might be a job or driving or high school. Most jobs these days require to have some kind of mutual contact and sharing with the boss and coworkers. For driving, if ever lost it would be best to have some kind of GPS and calling in case if there's any sort of trouble. Last but not least, high school. I know above you said that the high school she's going to is one that does not accept any sort of cell phones. However, every day technology is improving rapidly, and everyone who's reading this and you too Beard knows that. High school is a time to realize that your girl is a young teenager and she should know her responsibilities by that time of age. Other high schools that allow cell phones have more than just a couple reasons to enabling that Beard. One, it's for safety of the student and their parents to keep contact with the child. Two, it could give a lot of education benefits (and by this I mean emailing teachers with questions about assignments, 3rd party apps for education and homework help) and three, it's basic convenience. Though I would doubt that she would abuse her phone (if she would ever have one), it is very convenient and healthy for you to call and text each other as father to daughter when away for camp or something just to let you know she's alright. Just know that the control shouldn't force into the cell phone all the way otherwise she herself might not feel so secure using it when she wants to. Though it's not always okay to be lax on the rules, just let her know you are there to make sure she is safe and if you're in an accident, and if she doesn't have any way of contact, you might be in severe trouble. Think about it for both of yourselves. It's like a knife; it could be very useful or would hurt you.

      Delete
  35. michele double you6/14/2013

    Both of my teenage daughters (14 and 16) have iPhones. One, my youngest, has a touch, as well--purchased with her own money a couple of years ago (the biggest decision with that was whether to allow her to spend all that flippin' money on it).

    We certainly didn't set out for them to have phones in grade school, but I homeschooled the oldest when she was in 6th grade and I had recently started a (very) part time job. Being able to check in on her and answer questions when she needed assistance gave me peace of mind. In the interest of equality, once the youngest hit the same age, she got a phone, as well.

    They pay a minimal amount per month for their smartphones, as the phones are primarily for us. The by-product of our rules regarding communication is that they have the ability to text and talk to and with their friends. If they fail to communicate with us as requested, they lose their phones, a.k.a., their ability to communicate with anyone, which translates to a less-than-social social life. If they exceed their data limit, they are financially responsible for it. The by-product of this rule is that they are cognizant of how much data they use (as well they should be).

    We sometimes have to remind ourselves that the world changes quickly, and they need to be able to navigate it. Learning to do it while we are here setting limits is important.

    On that note, while you may not give a rat's behind about other opinions at this point, I'll say this: as conservative as you seem to be, but with the idea of training her to be savvy cell-wise (which includes social media savvy), I vote cell up until high school, then add texting (and if you're like me, you'll tell her she may not use text-speak when talking with you). Give her the opportunity to explore social media when you think she's ready, with the caveat that you have full access to her IG/Vine/Twitter/Fb at all times. Mostly, keep talking about the stupid stuff kids do that can follow them into adulthood. Or, rather, just keep talking.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous9/17/2013

    I am 14 years old and I want a smartphone. My dad won't get me one because it expensive but i want on because I am missing out in this world. Bored life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smartphone plans are stupid expensive. Why do you think your dad should fork over $2,000 for a two year plan?

      The lowest cost option is a simple prepaid no contract phone, coupled with a small tablet with a $15 per month data plan. This route can be done for $35 a month for cell and data. Still not cheap, so I don't blame your dad if he scoffs.

      Delete
  37. I have an iPhone now (married, 30) but am really glad they didn't exist when I was a teen. Feel like we had a more authentic teen experience without social networks and texting all the time. I really appreciate this list. It's crazy the number of middle schoolers I know with smart phones. I fully expect to buy our son a phone someday but, if they still exist, I definitely plan on it being a basic flip phone, once he's driving maybe (we'll see what life is like in 16 years). Nice to see not "everyone" going to smart phones as soon as their kid hits double digits!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5/28/2015

      Many teens in high school have smart phones (almost all in wealthy neighborhoods) and I have to say it may have been nice for you to have the authentic teen experience, but the teen experience has changed now and smartphones are a large part of it. Group texts are used as a major form of communication and many basic phones can't load mass texts properly. I will admit that I am a high schooler and my opinion is probably a bit biased, but not having a smartphone does have a large impact. I personally don't have a smartphone and i'm feeling the effects. Although I do believe that not everybody should have a smartphone these days, when everyone else has them it hurts not to have one. I just want to point out that I live in a relatively wealthy area with over 95% of people I know having smart phones. (P.S I know I am replying to an old post, but I was trying to see my parents side of things and I wanted to share my insight)

      Delete
  38. Anonymous5/12/2014

    So the gist of what you're saying is that I'm a stupid, financially irresponsible, uninvolved parent because my son has a smartphone. Dang it, I guess all of those group texts that he has with my husband and me (sometimes numbering in the hundreds each day) aren't worth it. Got it. Thanks for the parenting advice there, Beard. I hope your daughter manages to live up to all of your expectations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, you are welcome.

      Delete
  39. Anonymous6/14/2014

    Honestly this is stupid, your dad may be able to because he lived in a time when people didn't have phones but whoever this kid is growing in a world where every kid has a phone and they are the only ones without one, it's torture and social suicide, plus highschools allow phones don't be ridiculous. If your scared of them sexting it's your fault for being a shitty parent. And I'm pretty sure if you break one you repair it not replace it and pay 600$. A phone could also be a great move incase they go on school trips that are big or go to clubs / sports after school and they need to tell you about new things coming up. If all the people at school have one and your kid doesn't your setting up to have them be bullied for being different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must be in a great school if kids there get bullied over a phone. She will likely have a phone, but not web enabled.

      Delete
  40. Thank you for posting this! I'm 17 and I always wanted a smartphone until I read the price. O_o

    $70.00 a month? I could save enough to go on a trip to Europe!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous11/09/2014

    I get all A's, I am on track to be the valedictorian of my class. I am very actively religious. I am responsible and trustworthy. I have offered to completely pay for the phone and plan. I am 15 almost 16 years old. My parents will still not allow me to have a smartphone. I have been very, very patient. Why do you think they still won't let me get a smartphone?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous11/30/2014

    Thankyou, As for kids texting parents, why can't they just talk? Also there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that protecting a child / teen from themselves by restricting access to completely unsupervised, portable internet access and text messaging (ie smartphones) is somehow going to make them rebel. If anything its the ones who are given open access to everything who end up with all the problems.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous2/15/2015

    HAHA wow. I can think of 18 reasons why you shouldn't be a parent. Who said you had to get a plan that was 70$? Many plans cost way less than that. I guess, you don't want your daughter to contact you if lets say she went out or if she was lost. What if an accident occurred? You can't be so overbearing. You may think this is helping your child in some way but it just shows that you don't trust your own child and that you don't think their responsible. You only live once, might as well just get her a phone. Nothing is wrong with that. But thankgod your not my parent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got Engrish? Less time on your phone, more time paying attention in school.

      Delete
  44. Anonymous3/28/2015

    At my school, for certain assignments my school almost requires you to have a cellphone. I am constantly stuck with borrowing other people's devices. It sucks bigtime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't care, figure it out. I grew up on government cheese.

      Delete
  45. Anonymous6/10/2015

    I think your logic on this issue is fantastic. My husband and I are unofficially fostering a 14 year old boy when his mom is at work. Against our advice, his mom got him a smart phone- no filters, no rules, no parental guidance. I've tried to keep up w/ his passwords & we've set our own rules, but this otherwise sweet young man has become a porn addict before even becoming a high school student. Now we have a monumental hurdle in shaping his view of women before he's even been allowed to have a first date. What are his chances of always being a gentleman around a girl? What are the chances of him being an equal partner with a future date in the quest to 'wait for marriage' when his still-developing brain is addled with those unrealistic images? I don't doubt that this young man is a Christian, and cares about girls, but he's fallen into a temptation that no one prepared him for. And with the prevalence of unsupervised internet access, I'm finding this seems to be the norm for young men... and probably young women, too.
    The only thing I would add to your list, is that we would do our best to prepare kids for life AROUND smartphones, even if they don't have their own. We're teaching this young man (too late) that we will do our best to help him by setting filters, passwords, boundaries, and expectations, but that he is responsible for setting his own "filters" for the "smart life" that's all around him..and we'll always be here to support him. Unfortunately, kids at a very young age can be blindsided by some very adult struggles.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous6/10/2015

    I think your logic on this issue is fantastic. When I was growing up, phone socialization was a family affair. My dad would answer the landline, and our friends learned pretty quickly how to politely introduce themselves and visit with my parents for a few minutes before being allowed to talk to the kid they were calling. My parents took an interest in our friends and dates, and 20 years later friends (via Facebook) still ask about my parents.
    My husband and I are unofficially fostering a 14 year old boy when his mom is at work. Against our advice, his mom got him a smart phone- no filters, no rules, no parental guidance. She also doesn't know how to talk to her son about birds, bees, and relationships. I've tried to keep up w/ his passwords & we've set our own rules, but this otherwise sweet young man has become a porn addict before even becoming a high school student. Now we have a monumental hurdle in shaping his view of women before he's even been allowed to have a first date. What are his chances of always being a gentleman around a girl? What are the chances of him being an equal partner with a future date in the quest to 'wait for marriage' when his still-developing brain is addled with those unrealistic images? He's fallen into a temptation that no one prepared him for. And with the prevalence of unsupervised internet access, I'm finding this seems to be the norm for young men... and probably young women, too. These are your kid's friends!
    The only thing I would add to your list, is that we would do our best to prepare kids for life AROUND smartphones, even if they don't have their own. We're teaching this young man (too late) that we will do our best to help him by setting filters, passwords, boundaries, and expectations, but that he is responsible for setting his own "filters" for the "smart life" that's all around him..and we'll always be here to support him. Unfortunately, kids at a very young age can be blindsided by some very adult struggles.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous6/10/2015

    Sorry for the double post! Dadgum tablet

    ReplyDelete
  48. Anonymous7/07/2015

    I just finished my 8th grade year (gonna be a high school freshman) and I've been having a phone for the longest time! My fist phone was at the age of 4 (Nokia 3310). What a little awesome phone! Unfortunately, I lost it when I was 8. You read that right, grown-ups??!!! I had it for 4 years, and lost it in mint condition. So, 3 years later (11 years old, 3 years with no phone) my Dad bought me an iPhone 4S (the 32gb model) and an Xbox 360 Slim. 6 months into having my 4S, it cracked (my 2 tear old niece dropped it while watching Dora on YouTube, which was not my fault, nor hers). I went another 2 years with no phone. Christmas 2014, I got a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III! That is what I'm typing this on! It's in flawless condition! I don't send pics of my penis to girls or have girls do viseversa for me. I think it's gross. I don't watch porn on it either (the idea of watching people have sex on my device gives me the creeps). I don't do anything you grown-ups think we teens do on our devices. I don't use my phone in school. I take it, but I keep it off. I actually learn! (as you can clearly tell by my amazing grammar). I do realize I, for my 14 year old age, have spoken very strongly, but all I'm trying to say is it's not bad at all for kids and teens to have phones. I learn a lot from my phone (laugh, if you will). I, on my phone, do Android Development, which can easily get me a career at Google. I use my phone for a reason, not for stupidity. So, adults, parents, let you children be free! We are in all right to tell you we deserve something. You, in most cases, will not want to buy it. I'm willing to buy my own devices, but my parents won't let me, and I eventually cannot work. I am a hard worker though. Just because I own a phone doesn't mean I don't do any chores. Matter of fact, I do most of what has to be done in my home. I do accept if your paychecks are low abd you don't want to spend your money, or uf your kid is bad and doesn't deserve it, but us responsible kids deserve more than what you give us. If you have money and your kids want something of their own liking ( and they are straight A students and are well disciplined), buy it! You aren't gonna pay 300 for a phone every hour of the day, only ONCE!

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is so stupid. I am currently a junior in high school and having no phone would have made me depressed. First of all do you guys realize how much teenagers bully others for not having a smartphone? Do you? Because teenagers bully others for the smallest reasons, even when it comes to others possessions. Second of all if I didn't have a smartphone, how would I contact my mother, father, and friends? Texting and Skyping on my phone is my only way of communicating with them. I rarely have time to use my computer, unless Im typing something for homework. Lastly, smartphones are fun to used at the appropriate moments. If Im on the bus i'll listen to music and text or when class ends i'll go on Snapchat to see some funny videos of my friends. So stop acting so negative about smartphones and teenagers texting in front of you just because it makes you uncomfortable. And yes I know phones are expensive and you have to pay for it monthly, but what do you expect? For it to be $5 a month and being only $10 for a iphone? Then everyone in the world would be having iphones. So please don't complain about how expensive it is and how you can use the money for other purposes. Sorry for my rant it just made me angry reading this. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous9/29/2015

      Leia ace I am a freshman in high school and I have never had a cell phone in my life and I am perfectly fine with it. No one needs a smartphone or even a cell phone- I have "survived" 14 years without it. If people bully you for not having a cell phone, why should you give a shit what they think? It's not like you could have had a phone if you wanted. My mom's policy that I can't have a phone, not mine. Trust me, if I could, I would. If people you like bully you about that, than are they really your friends? What's wrong with calling on a house phone or emailing? I am under pressure every day because I am the only person in my school who doesn't have a smartphone. I would take any phone, I would use a crappy flip phone if I could, so I know how you feel. and you have to realize not everyone can afford a smartphone or even a cell phone. You might want to save some of those thousands of dollars for college education and do something with your life other than stare at a screen. You sound spoiled. The only phone my mom would ever get me is a $1 phone that costs $10 a month with unlimited talk and text. It's a luxury. I'm on the bus or at my friend's house or at school, everywhere I go, people are addicted to their phones. It's so antisocial and makes everyone who doesn't have one uncomfortable. I agree that it is fun in the appropiate moments, but no one uses it just for the appropiate moments, they are on it every second of the day. And my school has a stupid policy that says you have to bring smartphones in use them in the classroom for every class. They assume everyone has one, when people like me don't. They should provide phones or ipads to the students if they feel so strongly about it. I'm just trying to help you because you sound very unapreciative and ungrateful for what you have. And my only huge problem with cell phones is that everybody is addicted. Be social and save some money for real experiences instead of watching them on a screen. I'm just trying to help :)

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    2. The people who bully me were never my friends. They were people who would criticize others for their own amusement so they could gain a reputation of being cool. Plus my parents didn't buy me my phone, I did. I worked for my phone and still do ever since I was a sophmore.I go on websites like Paidviewpoint and Survey Savvy after I come back just so i could earn a bit more. I pay for the monthly plan for my phone, $70 per month. Yes I do sound spoiled, but I assumed OP had the money to buy their teenager a phone. Their attitude sounded bit arrogant, "...my retirement, new ears or a family trip to Europe." Your retirement? Seriously? Also some of the facts she says are biased and come from Wikipedia, "20% of kids admit to sexting photos. Imagine the percentage if you factor in those that don't fess up." Number 4 doesn't even have a source to back up her argument.

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  51. Anonymous10/07/2015

    My sons are 16 I will not allow them to have a smart phone. They have an old cell phone to use to contact me and thats it. Their friends have smartphones and they have accounts on dating sites and they are only 15. This is why my sons will not be getting one just yet.
    I wont let them be on social media , and a matter of fact they dont want to be on Facebook etc etc. Our kids are only with us for a short while so why dont you just enjoy time with them and not give them phones to occupy their time and your precious time with them. You get 20 years with your kids to enjoy before they head in their own direction and then for rest of your life your a breeze in breeze out parent. Those 20 years are precious, too precious to waste on technology that will be around 4ever, your kids wont be kids forever !

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  52. You guys have no idea how much I need a smartphone in my school, I'm 16. Teachers always ask to bring out your phones to do reasearch, find things online, download apps, take online quizzes, check my grades online or to take picture of notes!! And I'm completely deprived of a social life too. Everyone I know either has the latest iPhone or any other smartphone and for those who dont, like me , its really stressful sometimes.

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  53. Anonymous5/08/2016

    Your kid does not need a smartphone! An iPod touch has all the capabilities of an iPhone, minus the cost of a plan.

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  54. This is genius and too true. My son had a smartphone. He earned everything to get one, earned the $40 increase in our bill per month to pay his own way to own it. That was a lot of work on his part. He didn't initiate the yuck that came at him, but it came at him nonetheless. Needless to say, we cancelled the phone. We are pondering a flip phone. Pondering. The trouble is that so many other kids have smart (dumb) phones, that they are immersed in watching up to 20 porn movies a day (girls and boys - even in Jr. High) and they are reflecting the idea that this is normal. Phones are no longer the issue - peer culture has always been the deeper issue and it still is. I sure appreciate this post.

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!