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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Texting and Sexting and Phones, Oh, my!

There has been so much news coverage lately about kids getting in trouble for inappropriate cell phone use, it leaves me shaking my head.  The solution seems pretty simple to me.  Take away the phones that text and take pictures and movies!  Parents today will say their children HAVE to have a phone in case of an emergency.  Ok, fine.  But does it have to be the top-of-the-line phone with every bell and whistle available?  Just give them a damned phone that makes calls.  And when they scream and moan and cry that all their friends have the fancy ones, that's the time to suck it up and tell them it's this or nothing.  

It's also the responsible thing to do.  If the whole premise of giving your child a cell phone is for their safety, don't give them one they can text on while they're driving because, trust me, kids are going to be irresponsible.  (I'm reminded of the time when I was 16 and driving 85mph at 10 pm in my mother's '66 Chevy Impala)....and I was one of the responsible ones!  We can't even rely on adults to do the responsible thing.  Yesterday on my way to work, I saw 7 people texting while they were driving.  All adults.  So if grown-ups can't be trusted to act responsibly, how can we expect our kids to? 

And if the whole problem is parents not wanting to hear their children's temper tantrums when they tell them "NO",  well, just get over it.  Now I'm reminded of the old Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk tells Charlie, "There's a million things in this world you can have and a million things you can't have".  Kids need to learn that.  Hell, we all need to learn that.  That's where the whole idea of entitlements and instant gratification and credit cards and living beyond your means starts; by giving kids everything they want.  Give em a cheap phone and tell them when they get a job and can afford to buy a phone and pay the monthly bill, then they can go get whatever phone they want.