My cell phone contract is up. It has been up for a couple of months. I wouldn't mind a new phone, but I don't need one. I want a Blackberry, but I don't want to pay the monthly charge. (Tightwad is rubbing off on me.)
The cell phone industry seems to have quite a deal going. Your phone gets outdated quickly, and you'll buy a new one every couple of years. (Unless you're L. I think she would get a new phone every 6 months if she could afford it.) Computer companies probably wish they could get in on this every-two-year action. They are still a bit too pricey for the average consumer to do that.
I was thinking back to the first cell phone at our house. K got it for her 16th birthday. Cell phones were fairly new in those days. Actually, the gift wasn't for her. Her dad gave it to himself on her birthday. The idea of her driving a car alone wasn't something he was looking forward to. If she had trouble, he wanted to know. If she wasn't home when she was supposed to be, he wanted a way to contact her.
Now what kind of cute phone did she get? A bag phone. You remember those? They plugged into the car cigarette lighter. It kind of looked like an ugly purse. For her safety and Dad's peace of mind, it was priceless.
Cell phones have spoiled us. We are always a phone call away from whatever we need. Kids are less independent. Parents have them on leashes, texting or calling them at school with unimportant information that could wait until they get home. Only rarely is the call important.
Kids don't have great memorization skills. They don't know phone numbers. Without their list of contacts, they are lost.
I don't even want to think about what it does to our social skills. No one goes to the door any more. They text or call to say they are out front. Parents don't always meet the child's friends or dates. (To say nothing of how lazy that makes us.) And this doesn't even touch on the texting rather than talking, the impermanence of texts, and the lack of face-to-face conversations. (Don't get me started!)
And yet, cell phones do exactly what the Mr. hoped. They give us peace of mind. We can call when we have trouble or are in danger.
My favorite call? K, L, and I were shopping. I get a call on my cell phone. "Mom, can you come to the changing room and see what you think of this outfit? I'm in the 3rd stall back." Only a teenage girl would make this call!
Monday Memories at Planet M