Tuesday, March 30, 2010

W for What the French, toast?!?

Music Man and I are looking into upgrading our cell phones. We typically do this every two years when our contract is up, because our service provider offers great deals on upgrades. We decided that we’re finally going to join the grown up world by getting Smartphones. You know; the kinds where you can surf the ‘net, check email, manage your calendar, etc. We realize that we are behind the curve on this, and nothing made that more apparent than an online review I read:

“I am 13 years old, and I absolutely love this phone, this is actually the first time I have touched my computer since I got it. It is fast and ideal for facebook, and other internet applications. I love the photo quality and I love the texting features, it is easy to work, and the touchscreen feels great.”

Apparently, there are 13 year olds out there with Smartphones!  Ummmmm…what?!?

Now, Music Man and I don’t exactly need these phones, but we will be able to make good use of all of that extra functionality. I’m particularly excited about the calendar, because I need a good, easy way to keep track of my schedule (especially my class schedule) and to do lists. I used to love the Palm that I carried around, but it got to be too much having to regularly check, and lug around, a cell phone, ipod, and Palm. Having all of it combined into one phone really will save me a lot of time; though I do still plan on using the ipod for music and games.

I’m also excited about the ability to check email on my phone, and to have the ability to access the internet; this will come in handy when I want to check personal email while I’m at work or waiting for class to start or when Music Man and I are on one of our mini-getaways and want to find restaurants near us. The GPS feature will be great for getting directions to locations we’ve never visited before.

What I don’t understand is why a 13 year-old would need, or have, a Smartphone. I can maybe understand the necessity of a pre-paid cell phone, because it seems pay phones are in short supply nowadays; in case of emergency, I’d probably want my kid to have a cell phone too. However, I cannot fathom why you’d want to give a 13 year-old the ability to access the internet anywhere and everywhere, to play games whenever they want, and the unlimited ability to text. Seriously! What good can come of this?!

Some of my classmates enjoy spending class time texting, surfing the net, and doing who knows what else on their phones during class. These same classmates are the ones who complain about not understanding the subject matter, not knowing (even though it’s been said at least once per class) what material will be on the upcoming quiz, and not understanding how to complete the labs. Now, if those 18 and up can’t exercise self control, and don’t have the ability to understand that class time is for learning (not texting), I can’t imagine that putting that temptation in the hands of a 13 year-old is a good thing.

I’d imagine that it has become necessary for elementary, middle, and high schools to have cell phone policies now. So in addition to shaping young minds and dealing with difficult parents, it is now the teacher’s job to act as cell phone police. They don’t get paid enough to do their jobs to begin with, and now they must waste time fighting with a 13 year-old over his or her cell phone. Unreal!! Is it any wonder that the entitlement whore epidemic is sweeping the nation?!

Perhaps it is a good thing that Music Man and I probably will never have children. We’re way too out of the loop and old fashioned. That online review sparked a conversation between us that shows that, not only are we on the same page as far as parenting is concerned (which we already knew), but also that our kids would absolutely hate us. When they got old enough to need a cell phone and to understand its uses, they’d get a pre-paid cell phone for emergency, or call mom and dad, use only. There would be no internet capability and no texting.

Yes; our kids would absolutely loathe us, which wouldn’t be at all surprising when you consider the teasing and shunning we’d be condemning them to by not allowing them to have a Facebook account until they were at least 16; and even then, we’d need the id and password in order to be able to check up on them. Also, computer time for non-educational purposes (i.e. to hang out on Facebook) would be seriously limited and would only be done on a computer centrally located in a public section of our home (i.e. not our child’s bedroom).

I just really don’t understand a lot of parents nowadays. What’s happened to parenting?! It seems that far too many parents are more concerned with being the “cool parent” or the friend than with disciplining and educating their kids! This creates parents that give in to their child’s every whim, because god forbid Junior doesn’t have the cool cell phone that all the other kids have. What statement would that make? Obviously that we don’t care enough about Junior’s social development, or that we cannot afford such luxuries, and we must not allow people to think that!

These same parents are shocked when their kid falls victim to an internet predator, ends up pregnant as a teenager, gets caught drinking underage, falls behind in school, etc. Maybe it’s one of those things you have to be a parent to understand, but I doubt it. I swear, lovely reader, sometimes I feel as though my head will explode when I try to figure out where common sense has gone!!

In other news, Geology still sucks, but there are only five weeks left! (Then, I get a couple weeks all before jumping into that crazy summer schedule!) The class location is still absolutely ridiculous, and I will be writing that into my class evaluation at the end of the semester. I walked into the building at 6 o’clock last night, and I saw my classmates on the elevator as the elevator doors closed. I finished checking in with security, and began walking to the elevator.

I was stopped by the guard. “Ma’am you have to wait. You can take a seat over there in the lobby.”

Me: “Ummmm…that was my class on the elevator; I just missed them.”

Guard: “Yep. And you’ll have to wait. I can’t have you going up there and getting lost somewhere.”

Me: * Disarming laugh* “This is my third week here. I know where I’m going. Besides, by the time I get off the elevator I’ll only be about five feet behind my classmates. I’ll be okay.”

Guard: “Take a seat in the waiting area. I’ll give them a couple minutes to get to the classroom, and then I’ll call up.” (Obviously disarming laugh didn't work)

Me: *Thinking WTF?!? Are you serious right now?!?* “No thanks. I’ll stand here and wait, because I’m now late to class.”

I know, I know; poor me. (Who’s the entitlement whore now, Elle?!) I get that it was entirely my fault that I’d just missed the class. I know this guard was just doing his job. However, he’s seen me for the past two weeks now, and he knows I’m part of that class—he’d even commented as I was checking in on how I’d just missed them! I don’t understand why I couldn’t be allowed to join them.

Five minutes passes; two other classmates have arrived. I’m getting incredibly impatient. I glare at the guard. He finally picks up the phone and dials up to the room. The classmate whose job it is to lead the latecomers up to the room arrives, just as one of our late classmates had decided to go use the bathroom. (Really?!? She couldn’t have waited one godforsaken minute for us to at least get up to the floor the classroom is on?!)

I’m very, very agitated at this point. I hate being late, and due to circumstances beyond my control, I’m now over 10 minutes late to class!

We arrive in the classroom as the instructor nears the end of attendance. Good thing my name is near the end of the alphabet; he calls it out right as I sit down. I didn’t miss out on anything, but I’m still pissed. It is inevitable that, on any given class day, someone (or a few people) will be up to five minutes late. It happens—you hit a long red light, you get stuck behind the slow car, you’re halfway into the building and realize you forgot something in your car…

That being the case, I don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to hold classes in an offsite location that has such strict rules for coming and going. It’s asinine, and that’s exactly what I plan to write in my review at the end of the semester!

Final thought: I’m ridiculously busy lately! I’m trying to stay caught up with Geology homework, which seems to increase by the week, and I still haven’t started working on my Public Speaking Competency, which is now just over two weeks away! I’m feeling very stressed out and overtaxed.

I had a minor meltdown yesterday, and poor Music Man suffered the brunt of it. It's moments like those that I'm glad to have such a kind, patient, understanding husband. I realized, thanks to him, that I just need to ask for help. Novel idea; I know. If I need him to pick up some of my household chores, I just need to tell him. I know that deep down, but I just hate feeling as though I'm not doing my part. It's not fair that Music Man has to be the sole person responsible for keeping our household in order!

That said I have to apologize for not making it around to visit and comment on all of your blogst. I haven’t forgotten about you, lovely reader, and I will catch up on my blog reading and commenting as soon as I can!

The title for this post comes from one of my all-time favorite commercials. I need to start working "lint licker" and "cootie queen" into my vocabulary.

Creative Commons License


  1. If you're behind the times, I'm right there with you. Hubby and I wouldn't mind having Smartphones, but refuse to pay the extra $30/month it takes to get unlimiited internet/email access on them. Now, that's asinine!

    Common sense...left us a long time ago. I wish I knew where it went. There is a serious lack of parenting common sense nowadays that I simply don't understand.

    All that having been said, good luck with your schoolwork!

  2. I agree with you on the kids having a cell phone at such a young age. I think parents at times create a lot of the problems that they complain about. I didn't get a cell phone until I was a senior in high school. I loved my smart phones they are so nice.

  3. Agreed, agreed and agreed.

    When I'm feeling super stressed and overwhelmed I write a list of everything I have to do - and it stops being so overwhelming. It's not bad to ask for help - especially the hubs - he loves you and it is in his best interest for you to be happy and mentally well adjusted!

    Keep plugging along at school - it will get better!

  4. I am so out of the loop when it comes to cell phones it is not even funny anymore. I see a TON of teeny boopers running around with the iphone it is gross. Why do they need it? They don't it is they want it and parents feel guilty so they buy it for them. Kids are too spoiled today!

  5. I got my first smart phone from the man in my life. I used to make fun of him and his love for his smart phone; told him that my computer is my computer, my phone is for texting and telephone calls and I use my camera for pictures. The three should not mix.
    But now, I can't imagine my life without a smart phone; I can't imagine sitting through boring meetings without my phone. I catch up on my reading, replying to e-mails, download and read documents during meeting.

    As for kids, cellphones and internet. Dangerous. In my view a 13 year old should not be allowed to access the internet without parental supervision. For me that is no argument. To give a 13 year old a smart phone, that is superior stupidity.
    On a daily basis one is reading about how the bad bad people are trolling the internet, trapping kids. Parents should wake up. The internet can be a dangerous place. Even some normal people turn into crazzies on the internet, so one can just imagine how the internet can affect the crazy peeps out there.

  6. That's a tough one. Elementary school teachers encourage the kids to go on the internet for a variety of things now. My 10-year old's homework assignments are all online. I've set up parental controls on the computer and keep it in the living room. That's the agreement - she can look up her homework assignments and occasionally play on Club Penguin, but she can never have the computer in a room that I'm not also in. She has a cell phone, but it's set up with a service called Kajeet so that she can only call and receive calls from numbers that I have approved. The only reason that she has it is because I'm paranoid and the phone has GPS. Mostly she just uses it to call her dad and text me while she's walking the dog.

    The world moves fast - you just have to do what you can to make sure that it invades your household by your own rules.

    And I don't know how I existed before the iPhone. Seriously sad, but I have gained valuable life skills through Bejeweled and Peggle.

  7. I'm so excited for you guys about getting into smart phones. I strongly recommended any phone that uses an android system and integrates Google (this is key, I think). Calendars are SUPER easy to use, sharable (I'm thinking class schedules for you and gigs for Music Man here) and access from both phone and computer.

    Um, yeah. J and I have already talked about the cellphone/computer stuff and R2 is only 7. I'm going to fight to stay "old fashion", damnit!

  8. I just upgraded my phone to an internet phone. It was a seriously long process for me. I couldn't decide if I really wanted to have the Internet so easily available but in the end I went with it. My Cell phone place would really only let me get a cool phone if I signed up for an Internet plan. Yeah kids are on the Internet way too much. I really wish my sister did not send/recieve eleventy billion texts per day especially when I'm with her.

  9. I was also really behind the times until recently. I finally got a blackberry...mostly for the calendar function. I still don't know how to use all the features. But I can check Facebook updates when I'm waiting at the dentist's office...like I just was. It also makes it easy to check personal email at work without being too obvious.

    I agree with you, too, about kids and cell phones. My boss's daughter recently had over 2000 texts in one month. How does she get any school work done??? She's 13 and she has an iPhone. Recently they went away to Europe and we had to get her an international data package and international roaming so she could keep in touch with her friends. Really? You can't just enjoy your family while you are on vacation?

    Crazy world we live in...

  10. @gamommy - I totally agree with you; the prices for internet service with the phone is crazy. With how much we'll use it, it will be worth it to us. And thank you for the good luck!

    @Margaret - I agree...I think parents create a lot of their own problems with their kids. I didn't have a cell phone until I could afford it myself, which was Freshman year of college!

    @Katie - Thank you for the excellent advice. It's hard to remember when I get super stressed to take a step back, breathe, and just prioritize.

    @Alyssa - Agreed! Kids are way too spoiled nowadays!

    @Fab Bitch - I do believe this phone will change my life, and hopefully in a good way! The internet can me a very scary place, and I think parents need to realize that! Yes, it can be a good tool, but it needs to be monitored and kids need to be taught internet safety!

    @Jane - It sounds like you are totally on the ball with internet usage for your 10 year old! Way to go! What you describe with the cell phone and internet is exactly what I'd do if I had children.

    @Mom Fantastic - We're going with the Palm Pre...we've wanted them since they came out last year. Sooooo excited. It's good that you and J are starting the conversatiosn early, before R2 is actually using the internet.

    @JMJE - Yeah...in order to get the cool phones, we'll have to upgrade our cell phone plan too so that we'll have the data capabilities. The prices are a bit painful, but I think it will be worth it.

    @Shana - I'm looking forward to being able to be a little productive while waiting for appointments and such. Instead of being irritated by the wait, I'll check email! :-)

    Your boss is the kind of parent I'm talking about. Who lets their 13 year old have 200 texts per month?! And I think this is very telling: "Recently they went away to Europe and we had to get her an international data package and international roaming so she could keep in touch with her friends."

    He didn't HAVE to get the international date package for her. He CHOSE to, because he didn't want his little princess getting upset with him. THAT is stupid parenting at its finest. He could've used that as a teachable moment to tell his daughter that family vacation is about enjoying time with family and that her friends would still be there when she got home. Instead, he gives in, which teaches his daughter that she can get away with anything/have anything she wants. She will grow up to be an entitlement whore.

  11. Nope, I am the loathed parent. I don't understand the need for a 1st grader to need an iPhone, but there are kids in my daughter's school that have them. My kid can't have facebook, no phone and if she checks her email, she checks it while we are watching. Yep, I'm loathed.

  12. i didn't have a cell phone til i was 18 years old! it drives me crazy that 9 year olds are running around with them. what does a 9 year old have to say to anybody on the phone?? really!

    and i would have been totally pissed for being late to class, too. ridiculous.

    that commercial cracks me up! "you son of a biscuit-eating bulldog!"

  13. You make the most excellent points! I agree wholeheartedly about the responsibility that is being placed, precariously, into the hands of babies! My kids are older now, and I definitely consider 13 yr. olds to still be 'babies' in the grand scheme of it all. Common sense comes with age and in my opinion, how much wisdom can a person barely over a decade old, have?

    I can't believe you only have 5 weeks of Geology left!! YAY and YAY again:)

    I was unable to visit any google blogs for awhile...there was a glitch or something and no matter how many times I chucked my cookies, it didn't resolve the issue. It finally worked it's own kink out. :D Happy girl here.

  14. Reading things like this help me to realize how out of touch I am with the youth of today (and I'm not even THAT old!). The idea of a 13-year-old with a Smartphone baffles me. I just don't understand why there would ever be a need. I got along JUST FINE all those years without one by picking a place to meet up and showing up on time! Things were much simpler back then, I guess... But parents need to learn to say no.

    Good luck with all your school work!

  15. I am VERY behind the times. All I want is a phone that I can call people on and text. Then I'm happy.

  16. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! I LOVE The Orbit commercials and that one is a hoot!

    As far as the parenting and cell phone thing -- I couldn't agree MORE!

    B (my son, almost 20 now) has a good female friend who has had cell phones since junior high school -- and lost about 10 or 15 of them.

    B didn't get a cell phone until high school (I'm thinking his junior year is when we got him one) and never once did he abuse it going over minutes, etc.

    Just about a month ago now, he finally got the 'Verizon Rogue' touch screen phone which enables him access to the Internet. So mnay times he was out and called me asking me to look something up on the Internet that he needed for college, etc.

    THIS I support but a 13 year old does not need that capacity.

    I support a 13 year old having a cell phone for the purpose of calling home when needed to be picked up and for the parents to be able to reach them, but I would certainly disable the texting and Internet features. NO WAY does a 13 year old need an I-Phone.

    The parents missed the mark on this one for so many reasons; accountability, too much accessability....

    Remember what Peter Parkers Uncle said to him; 'Great power equals greater responsibility'.

    Shameful and irresponsible on that 13 year olds parents.

    On another note, I know this is a stressful time for you (I, too, suffer from bloggers guilt when I can't visit everyone regularly) but you'll get to us when you can. In fact, I do want to thank you for your supportive comments -- you are a wise and thoughtful blogger whom I adore and appreciate.


  17. I so don't get it either. My phone is a full keyboard so it's not too shabby, but certain not a smart phone and I'm 30. It really ticks me off. I didn't have a cell phone at 13 -- well they really weren't for everyone when I was 13 but still. Ridiculous!

  18. I abhor being late. My family can attest to this. I turn into a total beast when I am late and just get on everyone's nerves. I woulda given that guard the scare of his life, haha.

    Oh, and that is one of my all time favorite commercials, haha!


Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for taking the time to comment! Readers like you make me want to continue writing. I will do my best to reply to your comment by either commenting on your blog or by sending you an email. In order for me to send you an email, which I really really like to do, because it's a more personal response, you need to put your email address somewhere on your blog or in your blogger profile. Also, can you please make sure to leave me a link so that I can come and visit your lovely blog? Thanks a bunch!

I hope to see you back here again soon!

Related Posts with Thumbnails