Friday, October 29, 2010

Kids and Cell Phones…

When my older daughter started high school we decided she should have a cell phone for emergencies and also to put my mind at ease. I worry too much, everyone knows it. What’s the problem? Well, it’s now ten years later and I still hear grumbling whenever I ask her to call me. Apparently, calling me takes a lot more effort than calling or texting her friends nonstop. It must be a generational thing because I don’t get it.

It’s not like she pays the bill. We have a family plan that has gotten more and more expensive as we have added “dire necessities” to it, for example, unlimited texting, at an additional charge of $30 per month. It’s not me that needs to text and I rarely do, except to communicate with my girls. But, it seems texting has replaced calling, and whole, lengthy conversations are now carried out via her Qwerty keyboard. I don’t have one of those on my phone. I have to text the old fashioned way and it’s annoying. So, when she is driving or taking the subway, I simply ask her to call when she arrives at her destination, so I know she got their safely. That takes all of 30 seconds, tops. I also ask if she can call when she leaves someplace to come back home. This way, if she delays, I will know to start worrying. I do not think this is too much to ask for providing her with her cell phone, but often she does. She doesn’t “get” how a mother worries over the safety and well being of her children.

Now, you would think paying over $100 a month for four phones is enough. I know I do. But, my older daughter now feels she urgently needs an internet plan for her phone in order to be able to check her emails 24/7. I tried explaining to her that except for the time she is on the subway going to and from work, she is always sitting at or near a computer. And, while she is on the subway she will not get a signal on her phone. So what is the point of having internet access, which will undoubtedly add at least another $30 to my bill? I know her mouth was moving and words were coming out, but I zoned out. My logic is flawless on this point. However, we did reach a compromise when she stopped talking. I will get the internet added, but she will pay all portions of the family plan bill that pertain to her phone use. Case closed.

I still expect to be called when I feel it’s necessary. I think it’s a matter of consideration and respect. When my girls become parents, and their children are out of their protective zone, I wonder what they will be requiring them to do? Only then will they realize why I worried about them so much and why I could only sleep soundly when I knew they were both tucked into their own beds.

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