Editor's note: The following post by Kristen Thompson originally appeared on her blog, Blood, Sweat and Cheers! It has been shared here with the author's permission.
I will get some criticism for writing about this, but it's important for all parents to hear. And when I say "All," I mean ALL, even those with babies and younger children. You need to know what is in store for you because it's only going to get worse.
Sorry in advance, kids. To parents, you're welcome. Listen up!
My boys would probably say I'm a bit crazy when it comes to their phones and iPods. Maybe not even "a bit," but just downright crazy. I have reason. I have multiple reasons. I have four reasons ranging in the ages of 10 to 19. While I try not to invade privacy, these are my children and I have the right to invade. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyhow. When they turn 18, I stop invading. Yes, my 19-year-old is now breathing a massive sigh of relief, but it doesn't mean he can act-a-fool without getting feedback.
Cell phones are a blessing and a curse. I grew up without one. My kids have a hard time believing that I made it until I was 20 before I had a cell phone. And then it was their dad's bag phone. My first official cell phone was the monster that had a 20-pound battery attached and looked like a VCR with an antenna stuck to the side of your face. I carried that sucker proudly around in my purse (leaving no room in my purse for anything else, mind you). And when I'd get a call, I'd excitedly heave it out of my bag, screw on the antenna, press on the green button 15 times to answer it and stand against a window for reception. Once the call started, I knew I only had a select few minutes to chat because cellular phone charges were highway robbery. I think my first plan was in-state only, and it charged me per minute during the day, but it was free nights and weekends. By the evening or weekend, I was so tired from carrying it around, I'd just tell people to call me on my house phone anyway.
I'm almost 40 and have been active in the last 20 years of cell phone evolution. The plans are more reasonable, and the phones are small and lightweight, so one would say that it's improved since 1993.
This "one" would say no, it hasn't ...
I'd like to rewind cell phone technology back about 10 years with, still, the better plans, but the simple flip phone. No texting, no apps, just calls. Remember that time where you actually used a phone to call people? There's a concept, kids! I could go on a tangent about how much more personal and important it is to actually speak to a person, but this is not my rant today. My rant is focused elsewhere. I'm here to enlighten my fellow moms and dads on apps — these little things our kids say "Hey, Mom, can I buy such-n-such for 99 cents?" And the parent busy with something else acknowledges and may or may not make a mental note of "Junior just downloaded the game SnapChat." Guess what, Mom: SnapChat is NOT a game. And guess what else? Most of the "dangerous" apps are FREE!
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