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February 08, 2010


Sumiyeh Aboosaiedi

Dear Donna:
I couldn't agree more on this topic. I am aghast when my almost 11 y/o tells me that Little Johnny, who's younger than him, already has a cell phone, or worse yet, an iPhone, so why can't he?! Besides the fact of not arguing with a ten y/o because what Mama says is what goes (that's another topic, right?), but when you are a home schooler, just how often does he think he has enough distance between him and me to warrant that device?! I'm guessing when he goes off to college...
Regarding not owning a cell phone because you don't want to be on call all the time, I simply put them on silent or vibrate and DON"T ANSWER! When someone asks why I'm not answering a call, I respond that I have a cell phone for MY OWN CONVENIENCE, NOT FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF OTHERS.


I also totally agree. I have a 12 year old daughter who is wanting her own phone (an iPhone no less!), but as a homeschooler, it's rare that she's really apart from me, and I see no need for her to have one. But she sees other friends, even those much younger, who have their own cell phones. I know that if I were to buy her one, she would be constantly texting, playing games, because I've seen this tendency towards addictive behavior with elecronics.

I have been at family get-togethers where 2 sisters who are a year apart from each other will sit in different rooms of the house and text each other. They are not interacting with anyone around them, and instead of getting up and walking to the other room so they can talk in person, they text. I have seen these same teenagers visiting my parents text their mother who is sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast while they are buried in the back bedroom!

I do own a cell phone but for my own convenience. If I don't want to answer it, I don't. I don't use the texting feature. And when I'm home, it's usually plugged in somewhere so I don't even hear it if it rings. I will eventually probably get a smartphone because we travel a fair amount and it's convenient to be able to check things on the web while on the road, but again, it will be for my own convenience, and not to be constantly tethered to others.

For all these same reasons, my daughter will never have a computer in her bedroom (we don't have wireless internet in our house anyway and no laptops either) or a television or any such thing. If she's going to be on a computer, it will be in our very public office where we can see what she's doing. And if she's watching TV, I want to know what is on. We also greatly limit computer and TV time. She is an incredibly savvy computer user, which is natural because her father and I are both computer professionals. But still, she gets very limited computer time because she's not yet able to control her time and easily gets sucked into games.


I think that in favor of simplifying our lives, limiting cell phone use is a must.

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