Monday, August 10, 2009

why i hate technology (edited w/ more rant)

my eldest child is 12. she is about to enter the 7th grade. when she was but a young 4th grader we started hearing this foreign noise emanating from her mouth---iwannacellphonewaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

it was often uttered in such a high, tinny pitch i'm sure only the dogs could hear it. then she made sure we heard the whining. for years. but i NEED a cell phone. i NEED it. everyone in school has one except me.

really? you are in 4th grade. what do you need it for? no answer.

when she was in 5th grade and went on her first overnight school trip w/out me we caved and got her a cell phone. it is a basic cell, nothing fancy, no slide out keyboard. it is pay as you go. it is cost effective. i have the exact same phone.

for the last two years the iwannacellphonewhine has turned into a more frequent, pitiful whine i wannaslideoutkeyboardcellphone so i can text. ALL of my friends have slide out keyboard phones or even TOUCH phones. so and so got her first phone and it's a slide out keyboard. so and so's phone broke and her parents got her a touch screen. i'm the only one w/ a black, flip phone. really?

i realize that i'm often out of touch w/ what's going on in the world. i live in my own little bubble and am oblivious to most things. do most kids in middle school have high end cell phones? and, if they do...uh, how are people justifying the expense? i mean we pay about $60 every 2-3 months for my phone and her phone together (the hubs' phone is paid for through work). when school starts back up in a few weeks she'll only be able to text for about 20 mins of the school day (on the bus) and then in the afternoon.

the girl obsesses over phones. she researches plans online. she devours the literature she finds anywhere on any phone service. she fondles every one in every store we enter. and she really cannot see why we do not jump gleefully into a two year contract that would include a new monthly bill just so she can text quickly on a slide out keyboard. how could we be such horrible parents?

she is quite moody about the whole thing. she will go a few days or maybe, if we're lucky, a week or more without mention of a phone. then she'll see a new commercial or an ad in the mail and off we go. she will stew about it and pout and rob us of her delightful personality. the only benefit to this is that she tries to bribe us. saturday when i got up she was folding laundry. she swept and mopped the kitchen floor. she did dishes (she's NEVER done dishes). she admitted later it was all done to impress us so we'd get her a phone.

i fucking hate cell phones.

oh, and NOW to make things even MORE fun, the rising 4th grade boy has jumped on the damn cell phone band wagon.

overheard minutes ago:
girl---mom we need to get a guinea pig, they're so cute.
boy---what makes you think we'll get a guinea pig, we can't even have phones.


drollgirl said...

OH GOD!!! i hate cell phones, too. this must be maddening!!!

i once read (or heard) that teens love the phone because it makes them feel less insecure and more connected to their friends. even if they are not saying much or talking/texting about anything exciting, the constant chatter and connection reassures them that they are cool, loved, interesting, worthy, etc. ugh. i am so glad i am not a teenager anymore!!!

maybe someday she can start babysitting or doing some other work that will pay for her phone. maybe? that is the only thing i can think of.

sorry to prattle on and on, but i was obsessed with clothes as a kid, and my parents didn't want a thing to do with it. they had zero money and they made me start buying my own clothes starting at age 13 when i got my first babysitting gig.

Kristin.... said...

I'm glad M is still obsessed with American Girl dolls and is saving money for those. Technology~blech.

Not Your Aunt B said...

I agree with drollgirl. If she could find a way to pay for it, then she could have one but you still have control over it (ground rules, it can get taken away even if she bought it, etc.) It's just what their status is determined by I think...they mimic adults and how many people HAD to have the iphone when it came out? Me, I barely even answer the thing. But I do love text as I hate to talk on the phone. LOL. Good luck! Let us know what you decide. I'm taking notes for later.

Hotch Potchery said...

I LOVE my iPhone. I like to Facebook, text, read YOUR blog, and now I have found Loopt (it plots out where Mr. P and I are on GPS, so we can become even MORE co-dependent). I like to text my kids. My parents. Everyone.

I pay $240 a month so that we can all text as much as we want...due to that I have 9000 roll over I just need to start talking.

Pandora said...

I was exactly the same about cellphones a few years ago,but right now,I really couldn't care less.Like you,I only think of the extra cost.And really,it's not worth it.She will eventually grow out of her little 'obsession' with cellphones.

cheatymoon said...

I have fought and lost the cell phone battle a few times. In our small city it's almost a necessity. It's small enough for the boy to have a lot of autonomy, (which I like), but big enough to get into hot water (as you know). And I feel better that he can do big city NYC things (like take the subway at his dad's) with some way to reach an adult...

I think of the cellphone as an electronic leash. I have a lot of leverage with it - it gets turned off from time to time due to unbloggable shenanigans. He has no privacy rights. He thinks that I can read his texts online, and that we have GPS on it.

He's on our family plan, so we pay about $17/mo to keep him on the plan w/ insurance for his phone.

I hate it - but I do think that most kids have them. This is not the reason I wanted him to have one, but I think it helps him navigate his social world too. Ack.

Gal Friday said...

This sounds EXACTLY like my daughter--must be a generational thing. I remember when I was a pre-teen and teen--I wanted record albums and every color Levi corduroy jean. LOL!!
My daughter has a very basic
(20.00) phone and yes, she goes on about getting a better one(slide out with camera and apps and all that stuff which my own phone doesn't even have)and does the same thing--researches and "shops" online to show us. Scary. (and I pretty much hate cell phones, too)

Astarte said...

You should get them a guinea pig and name it Cell Phone. Two birds with one stone, my friend. :) That would be *hysterical!!*

I've toyed a little with the idea of getting Josie one, because they're going to be walking home from school this year if I'm subbing at a different location. I don't think I'm there yet, since there are several other kids that walk, including our neighbors a few doors down who walk with their mom. Next year, though, when she starts middle school, I may cave. Luckily, in our podunk area, there aren't a lot of elementary schoolers who have one, so she hasn't started asking yet. When I do get her one, though, there will be NO touch screen. A texting board, probably, b/c I text, and it's less disruptive for people to text me at work or whatever than for the phone to ring all the time.