Last weekend, Mason got his own iPhone.
Don’t bother telling me what a horrible idea it is to give a nine-year-old his own cell phone, much less an iPhone. I’ll most likely agree with every point you throw at me. I think it’s borderline ridiculous.
Mason is currently attending play practice after school. The practices are closed to parents, which means if Susan and I want to show up before play practice is over, we have to wait in the parking lot. Twice now, play practice has ended early and we’ve arrived to find a parking lot full of kids standing around, waiting to be picked up. After that incident, the idea of Mason having a cell phone with him “for emergency purposes” was discussed. Eventually, that led to the purchase of an iPhone.
The once coveted iPhone 3GS can now be purchased for $19.95 through AT&T (refurbished). We had to pick up an additional data plan for $15/month, but his account falls under our calling minutes and unlimited texting plan. While we were in the store, our calling plan was bumped up (for free) to include free calling to all mobile carriers. Previously, only AT&T mobile-to-mobile calls didn’t count against our minute plan. In a way, adding his phone will be saving us money. 99% of the call I make are to friends on their mobile phones.
Before handing over the iPhone, Susan found a “Cell Phone Contract for Kids” online, modified it, and had Mason sign it. This was Wednesday night. One of the rules was, “no texting unless it’s an emergency.” Another was, “no taking pictures,” and a third was, “absolutely no taking pictures and texting them.”
By the time we picked Mason up from play practice last night he sent 57 texts. 1 of those included a picture of his friend.
“But, he made me!”
Do I really think a nine-year-old is responsible enough to handle an iPhone? No, not really. I’m already mentally drafting a “it’s lost” or “it’s broken” or “the story of the $1,000 phone bill” post for future use.