reasons for a cell phone

Discussion in 'General' started by twin_trip_mommy, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    Why do you have a cell phone as an adult and what features do you feel you need?

    Why do you think a child would need a cell phone and at what age. What features do you feel they need?

    What I mean by child is a young person in your care that you pay the bills for.

    I have a cell phone that is just for emergencies. I only use it about 3 times a month dialing out. Most of the time I don't even have it on me or charged. When I say emergencies I mean it is for the school or family to call me, for me to call DH if I break down or if I am going to be late. I do not chat on my cell phone with friends. I have a TracFone so my time often runs out before the minutes I have.

    I am thinking my children will get cell phones when they start spending time away from home visiting friends or out on an activity. I also feel they should contribute to the cost so I am thinking they will have to be earning money when they get one. Right now I see no reason for my children to have one at their ages 10 and 12. I also do not think they need a phone with internet access when they do get one.
  2. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have a cell phone so that I am always available if needed by one of the kids. If they need to be picked up from somewhere, get sick at school, plans get changed, etc. I like to know they can always reach me. I don't use it for a lot more, although I do have a data package & use the internet fairly regularly. Since I have teenagers, texting is a must as well.

    My 2 oldest kids have their own cell phones. Tess will be getting one next school year. Our rule has always been that they get one when they enter high school (which is Grade 8 here). They walk to school, about 20-30 minutes, and home after & I like to know they can phone me if they are going to be late, decide to go to Starbucks or a friend's house, or need me to pick them up. Texting capabilities are a must, since that is the way they most often communicate & I prefer them to text rather than spend large amounts of time with the phone right up against their heads (all the recent warnings about possible brain tumors are a bit worrisome).
  3. DinaJ

    DinaJ Well-Known Member

    I have a regular cell phone but will be getting an Iphone this month. I've done just fine with my regular cell phone thus far, but now I find I need my calendar on me all the time and coaches assume that I can get an email 10 minutes before practice changing the I'm switching to a smart phone. I have no idea which apps I need. I think I'll post a topic asking!

    My 16 and 13 year old got phones when they started middle school (their birthday presents that year) because they had to walk though the woods by our home. I felt better when they had their phones. My 16 yr. old didn't figure out texting until 8th grade or so and then we switched to unlimited texting and she paid half of the $30 plan, so $15. When my 13 yr. old wanted in on the texting plan, we divided it 3 ways, so they each pay $10. I've found this small amount to be very helpful for them to have to pay. They realize that phones are not free, they have to mow the lawn or babysit to pay each month. It's been good. My 16 yr old lost her phone last year. We had an old phone that she is using but she is STILL trying to save money for a new phone. We didn't just take her to the store like her friends parents and tell her to pick out a new one.

    I love that my children have phones, especially for texting. We stay in contact all day. A quick text to say they got there safely, or that they need to be picked up from practice earlier/later, or to bring something has been invaluable for all of us. And texts can be read between classes or at lunch. They are not a disruption like a phone call. My husband and I also text each other during the day. Sometimes we just share funny observations that we would forget about once evening rolls around.

    That said, my daughter did start texting a CRAZY amount last winter when she found a boy that she liked. We had to set limits. So, it is very helpful to look at your phone plan once they do start texting so you can make sure things don't get out of whack.

    Also, my son feels more confident having his phone when he is at games or practices far away. He says this all the time. "I feel so much better knowing I can call you whenever I need to."

    Hope this helps!
  4. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have a cell phone and I basically just need something where I can make calls and text when necessary. A smartphone is totally lost on me (unlike my DH, who :wub: his I Phone). I use my cell phone for emergencies, it's not a number that I prefer giving out.
    My kids are too little to ponder cell phones right now. But I am thinking maybe around 11-12 years old, we would probably get them a pre-paid phone and have the parental controls on it (basically call family and 9-1-1 only). When they start earning their money, they will have the option to upgrade to a phone they can afford and pay the bill for.
  5. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    I've got my personal phone (it's an iPhone) and my work phone (Blackberry). Both ring or ding constantly. I am overly plugged in I think, and have been trying to be on the phone less. I usually don't answer on weeknights unless it's work or my mom or sister, but there are exceptions. I am a texter- quick, to the point, and done.

    No clue about my kids seeing as how quickly technology changes. I do know that my 11 year old niece has a phone and I think it's too young.

    ETA: We don't have a land line, so our cell phones are our only phones.
  6. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is another reason I like that they text. I can text them at any time during the school day & they can pick up the text when it is convenient for them, no interruptions. Also, texting is great if they are out somewhere, maybe are uncomfortable in whatever the situation might be, and would like to go home. No one has to know they are calling their mom or dad, kids are texting all the time so no one would think twice about it, the child is not likely to be embarrassed, and is, therefore, more likely to text me to come & get them. And both of my kids have learned that I am much more likely to let them go places when they check in fairly frequently. Just a quick text, letting me know they made it to their destination, or are going somewhere else, or they will even just occasionally send an "all is well" type message.
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  7. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I spend three hours approximately on a bus daily. I use my iPhone for entertaining me, playing games, texting my husband, (it's a "quiet" bus, so talking on the phone is a no-no), having a camera on me all of the time, watching youtube videos, email, facebook, g+, everything but talking on the phone. I hate talking on the phone.

    My kids are young still, but I think that it would be okay once they are in middle school to have a cell phone with a texting plan (whatever is available in 8-10 years).

    We also do not have a land line, so cell phones and work phones are the only phones that we have.
  8. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu Well-Known Member

    I have an iPhone and use it ALL the time. I use the internet on it and game apps. I carry it all the time since I don't have a home phone. My boys will get a phone once they are old enough to be able to use it responsibly and have a need for it. I'm thinking middle school when they start after school activities or going to friends houses. They'll most likely have internet on it since they enjoy the apps and such.
  9. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    We all have cell phones. We have unlimited texting which helps us all stay in touch as needed. We rarely ever call each other unless we really need to talk about something. It's more of a messaging system.

    DH uses his for work and has all the bells and whistles, email, blah, blah, blah (iPhone). I just have a fairly simple phone with a keyboard for texting. I don't need or want email or internet capabilites on my phone or I'd never leave FB! :lol: I do use my phone minimally for work (texting mainly). Mostly I text my DH and kids. :D

    My kids all have cell phones. Sean has all the bells and whistles too (college boy, lol) and it is his primary phone. He got his first phone in 8th grade. B&C have phones with data packages but mostly use them for texting. They got their first phones in 5th grade before a school TAG trip to Orlando (I think). By middle school we felt it was a good idea for them all to have cell phones as they were staying after school for sports/activities and we needed a way to reach them and vice versa. Now that everyone is driving, it's a double-edged sword. They know not to talk/text while driving but I still worry it's a temptation.
  10. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    My husband and I each have smartphones. We don't have a house phone, we strictly use our cell phones. (I go back and forth over whether or not I think this is a good idea.) All our family lives out of state and most of our friends are military so they have long distance cell phone numbers. Our cell phone plan has free long distance, so why bother with a house phone? I read on it, play games, check Facebook, check Twinstuff!, email, Kindle.. all kinds of stuff. Oh, and Angry Birds.
  11. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My husband & I both have cell phones for work because we are both on call at different times. He bought an iPhone "because his work covered it" but he's secretly a gadget geek & really just loves to have the latest & greatest. :laughing: I just got an iPhone in the summer because I was finding with my doula work I never knew when or for how long I'd be away from a computer & would still need to keep up to date on emails from other clients & doula related things. We also recently had a distracted driver law come into effect in Calgary & the iPhone will synch automatically with the Uconnect system in our van so no need to buy a separate blue tooth or hands free device (again, being a doula, I need to be able to answer my phone any time, whether driving or not). We still have a land line for long distance but we only pay $20/month for 500 minutes (local or long distance) that we never come close to maxing out - so we've kept that rather than adding long distance to our phone plans. I also text a lot more now that I have my iPhone - it's great for those short & sweet messages/updates/info that you need but don't necessarily want to get into a conversation for. Other features I use regularly on my iPhone: map quest, movie/restaurant info, FB, games, alarm clock/timer, contraction timer (for work), calendar (this is huge! DH & I can update our calendars separately but the info immediately updates on both our phones - it makes scheduling things so much easier & efficient), shopping list & notes (I make lists of everything - Christmas gift ideas, to-do lists, ideas that are floating through my head, etc). Let's just say that if I ever forget my phone, I feel like I've left the house naked. :pardon:

    My girls are definitely not old enough for phones yet so I'm finding it helpful to read through what others have done/are doing with their teens. Thank you for sharing!
  12. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I just recently got a smartphone, before that was just a regular phone. I use it for emergencies, but also it's our long distance phone line, because it's cheaper to call Canada on my cell than through our landline. I also communicate with dh at work mostly through txting because technically he's not supposed to have his cell phone on at work. I went with a smartphone this time because the reviews on the other phones were horrible, this was the cheapest phone that worked with my cellphone plan with the cheapest data package available. Although soon you won't have a choice, data won't be optional anymore.

    As for kids, my oldest is 9 and has no interest in a cell phone. They aren't allowed to have one at school anyways so he'd have to leave it at home all the time anyways. I have no idea when he might be allowed to get one...probably when he can drive himself because we live in the country and to get anywhere, we have to take him anyways ;)
  13. Kendra

    Kendra Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I just have a regular old cell. (a LG Rumor ancient thing) I got it because I'm always taking off and my parents were worried I'd be stuck somewhere. I get 50 minutes or 50 texts a month and rarely reach that. The only calls in or out are usually my volunteer supervisor and the only person I text is Connie or occasionally update my facebook status.
  14. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] My whole family is addicted to this game !
    1 person likes this.
  15. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    Tony and I have had smartphones since the Droid came out in 07 (or 08 I don't remember now) and we both now have iPhones - I use it to call, text, play games and I can get apps on it for nursing school (Tabers Cyclopedia of Medicine, Davis's Drug guide etc) which is so much easier than lugging my Med/Surge book, drug book and diagnoses books to clinical...

    honestly my kids may get simple phones as the need arises and they start getting into activities that are drop and run (as of right now I stay at parties and such) but they won't get a data plan/smartphone until they are old enough to help pay for it.
  16. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    I use my phone for everything: I check my email, place calls and texts, have my checkbook, calendar, iPod, tv, voice recorder, gas price checker, and basically the Only place I go on twinstuff.

    My girls will probably get phones around the time they start staying home by them selves and show responsibility
  17. Heathermomof5

    Heathermomof5 Well-Known Member

    I use my cell phone for every call I make. The home phone is worthless. all 3 of my older boys have cellphones. They do not have Internet on their phones but we do have unlimited texting. They all 3 have IPods that can connect to the Internet. I like that they have phones I can get in touch with them anytime.
  18. Mellizos

    Mellizos Well-Known Member

    I'm too cheap to buy a smartphone or pay the monthly fee for service. I have a phone that makes calls. It doesn't even have a keyboard for texting. I use pay as you go, which costs me about $100 per year. I have an ipod touch that I adore. I use the skype app to make calls in places I can catch a wifi signal (home, church, etc).

    I don't envision my kids having cell phones while still minors. I'm not paying for it. Why would I need to text my middle or high schooler during the school day? How did our parents ever survive back in the day, when they had to call the school office to pass an emergency message to their child? :rolleyes:
    3 people like this.
  19. Code

    Code Well-Known Member

    I got my first phone at 11, got my first smart phone at 16 and have had two since. I currently have a samsung smart phone but will be conforming to a iphone 4s soon when I can update my plan. I was on prepaid until I was 16 and paid for the credit with pocket money, then with my pay once I started working, my parents have never outright brought the credit for my phones, they paid for my first 3 phones and I have paid for the last 3.

    I think phones teach responsibility, having to look after your things, pay for them etc. :)
  20. TwinPeshi

    TwinPeshi Well-Known Member

    Richard and I have a basic prepaid mobile that costs $15 every 6 months ($30/year) but we frequently forget to buy more credit once it runs out. The only reason we have it is that it was the fastest way to get an Australian telephone number when we moved here. It spends 99.9% of the time plugged into the charger gathering dust with the telephone number forwarded to our VOIP line ($5/month including international calls). We have everybody trained to e-mail us if they want something as we are unlikely to answer any of the telephones.

    My philosophy is that if I am not somewhere with a fixed line telephone I am highly unlikely to want to talk to you at that time and I am not important enough that I need to always be able to be contacted. I also despise speaking on the telephone and I find speaking on a mobile (or to somebody using a mobile) to be even worse.
  21. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    We don't have a land-line, so my cell phone is also the "house phone." I always want to be accessible to whoever has my kids and to my DH. Also, I remember when my DS was dropped on his head (by my mom) and the panic I felt. We were no where near any land-lines, so I can't imagine how much worse that would have been if I hadn't had a cell-phone to call 911.

    As for what features I need, I can't imagine going back to a non-smart phone. If for no other reason than that my calendar is on there. Also, I have alarms set up to remind me when to get places that keep me from being late. There are plenty of other things I use it for, but those are the things I can't imagine doing without. Thankfully, DH works for a cell phone company and my plan is really cheap.

    My kids will probably get cell phone when they start going a lot of places without me or a family member. Right now, they rarely go anywhere without someone I can't easily call. I'm not sure how old they will be then.
  22. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    One would think, right? But I hate to tell you, the times they are a-changin'! ;)
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  23. NINI H

    NINI H Well-Known Member

    I need my phone for travel and email. I now have a full data package. I used to have only phone capability and I often missed emails that were time sensitive while traveling.

    My children will NOT have phone for a long time, until it's actually needed and even then they must be responsible enough to not loose or destroy it, by saying throwing it in their pocket and putting there pants in the washing machine. (We've had this happen with MP3's). Since they homeschool, I don't see them needing them anywhere in the near future.
  24. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I have a pay as you go phone. We put $50 of mins on it a year and we don't go through all of that. It's for when we travel or so the school can reach me when I'm out. Dh doesn't have a phone. He takes the phone with him when he goes out hunting or to the shooting range. We have talked about getting him his own phone, but it will probably only happen if we buy some private hunting land.

    I'm very un-inclined to get the kids phones. Dh and I do just fine sharing one only for rare use. We're within walking distance (.9 miles) of where they'll go to high school so they'll be quite capable of walking home from activities if needed. I'm not a fan of texting, facebook or much else. We don't own Ipads, Itouches, Ipods, or Iphones. Neither of us have a facebook account. If it came up where the kids were doing a lot of travel with school, I would probably just be volunteering to go as a chaperone. If that didn't work-out, I'd consider a phone for the kids, but it would take a persuasive argument.

  25. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Isn't that the truth?! I can't even imagine the technology that will be available by the time L&L are 14 or 15. As it is right now, I don't know a single friend of Olivia or Owen who does not have a cell phone. Not one. I do know a lot of my friends said they would never buy their kids a phone, but they all gave in when the kids got to high school. Times are so different now than when we were young, my kids are on the go constantly. Drop off here, pick up there, dance, hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, group projects for school, movies, dances... the list never ends. And with 5, I have a hard time keeping up with the schedule. Much easier for them to just phone me when they are ready to be picked up than for me to go to pick them up & end up sitting and waiting for half an hour because they aren't finished yet!
    2 people like this.
  26. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    So true. We were among the last holdouts for all the boys to get phones. Sean was in 8th grade (age 14, almost 15) before he got his, and that was nearly 7 years ago! In that same amount of time, just imagine the changes that will occur.
  27. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Shoot, in five to ten years, teachers might do assignments on the phone through an app.
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  28. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    And if that's what happens, it happens. But I have a hard time seeing teachers do that because unless the school provided the phones and the data plans, not all students, especially in some of the rural areas we have here in Kansas, would not be able to do that. We don't have service providers in all areas. Some of the people at church are still on dial-up because that's all there is for service. Friends I personally know don't have cell signals at their house.

    I have heard that at our high school, if you have an Ipad, you can download your textbooks instead of carry them around. I would consider that. But I doubt they can require it.

    We'll deal with things as they come up. But, as things stand now, my kids won't get a phone unless there is a very good reason to have one.

  29. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    The new school in my parents rural, farm community has provided iPads to all of the students. Well, actually, they opened an elementary, middle, and high school on the same street and all of them have given out age appropriate laptops, iPads and apps, the high school got iPads. It's a test for the area, seeing if providing the technology to people who can't afford it is worth the potential loss of assets. Honestly, it's kept some people in school longer instead of dropping out.
  30. sulik110202

    sulik110202 Well-Known Member

    I have a Blackberry for work, but also have an I-phone. We don't have long distance on our home phone and my parents live out of state. I talk to my Mom a lot and didn't feel right running up long distance charges & text charges on my work phone. I have only had the I-phone since April, before that I had a basic cell phone. I love my I-phone and don't see ever getting rid of it.

    My kids are only 4 1/2, but I don't see getting phones from them until they are in their teens. Like a PP said, technology is changing so I might change my mind as the years go by.
  31. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    One of the local high schools here (new charter school) issued every student an iPad this year.

    I do know we have seen things change drastically technology wise just in the four years between our boys. I really can't imagine them not having cell phones. Like Tina, my kids don't know anyone their age who don't have them. (I just asked Craig.)They've just become a part of our kids' lives like they have a lot of ours.[​IMG]
  32. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It's no longer as simple as calling the school and giving a message to your kid. It's a PAIN to get ahold of your kids now. I wouldn't be surprised if laptops are the standard (instead of notebooks) by the time my twins are in high school. I know it's being tested in places like Bex said.

    When I was growing up we didn't have a computer. We finally got one when I was in high school because my teacher was requiring our major papers to be done on a typewriter or printer. Now, we have had up to 3 computers in the house at one time. We've downgraded to 2 laptops and got rid of our desktop completely.

    Times are definitely changing, and we can either keep up and go with the flow, or potentially get left behind ;) As Tina said, eventually I'll have 4 kids in activities and it'll likely be much simpler for them to call me when they are finished so I'm not sitting waiting on them. We live in the country and my kids won't be able to walk to anything we'll have to drive them everywhere. I'm so not looking forward to all that ;)
  33. momotwinsmom

    momotwinsmom Well-Known Member

    That's me to a 'T'.

    I have a smart phone, as do my twins. (It was buy one get one free, so DH decided to get them). Although they did have a regular cell since they were 9. They use it for texting their friends, and playing games. I also like if they are at someones house, I can text them that they need to come home, or get ready to be picked up. It's not a necessity, but it is a convenience I enjoy. They have rules and know I check the phone. I dont think they ever use the internet either.
  34. TwinPeshi

    TwinPeshi Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is a matter of keeping up / getting left behind. There are a lot of technologies available and not all of them are going to be useful for everybody. I have developed applications/services that make use of mobile telephone technology (including smart phones) and I have nothing against other people using them but it has never been something that I felt I needed. To me it would just be another monthly bill.

    Richard and I have an iPod touch (which was a prize in a contest) and although it is sometimes useful when we are travelling it otherwise does not get used.
  35. 4jsinPA

    4jsinPA Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I know a lot wouldn't agree with my kids having phones, but I love technology. I have a is with me everywhere. I love it. I love that I can contact anyone anytime. If something happens at school or gymnastics...I am always available to talk. My daughter who is 11 has had one since she was 8. She just texts. Back then it was just to text me. We would call if I was away or just to say good night, or when she woke up in the middle of the night at a friends house. Nowadays, she texts all her friends. She does not have internet service. Last month she sent over 5000 text messages. I have read many of her texts, she doesn't lock her phone and lets me read texts and such. They are honestly pretty boring just everyday stuff. She brings it to school but has it turned off until she gets on the bus or I pick her up. We did just buy another phone for our other kids. Whoever is at a practice/sport that we might be late to, we give it to them in case they might need us for something before we get there. Sure, they could borrow someone else's phone to use, but this one only costs us $10/month and it works for us. McKenna (6) loves to use it to text, but she only texts me or her sisters friend. We have rules about the phones and when/how they can be used. So far they have been great with them. Once they don't follow along, we may have to come up with something else. For now, this works for us.

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