By Mei Yee
With children seeming to get cell phones younger and younger as the years go on, I was always one that would say, “My child isn’t getting a phone until they start driving.” Because that is how it was with me when I was younger.
Thinking about it, it may seem dangerous to wait until she drives for fear of texting while driving, but I didn’t want her to be too young and have a cell phone because I didn't want random strangers trying to text and call her.
Storytime! I had an incident as an adult where I had my phone number for about a year now. As soon as I got an iPhone, I had some guy trying to facetime me six times in a row before I ended up blocking him (I thought he would just give up after me rejecting his facetime the first three times).
As an adult, that was weird and terrifying. I remember thinking I don’t even facetime with my friends. One because I don’t normally have iPhones to facetime, and two, I don’t like being able to see myself on video chats.
I was scared of wrong numbers calling and texting her repeatedly like that guy did to me. However, with things getting crazier in this world, I did get her a cell phone at eleven years old. This way, if she were ever away from me but needed me, she would have a way to get a hold of me.
As she is only eleven, she isn’t allowed to carry a purse to school (school rules, not mine), so she left her phone at home while at school. That was fine with me then, so I wouldn’t have to worry about her playing on it during school. An incident happened where she fainted on the bus, and the bus driver didn’t check the bus after dropping the kids off at the school. So, she was left on the bus.
When she woke up, she was too scared and nervous to find anyone in a place she didn’t recognize. She said she sat there quietly crying when the bus started moving again. It wasn’t until another student got on the bus and saw she was in her seat and told the bus driver.
Yeah, I was not happy when I got this phone call.
She got on the bus at 7:20 AM, and the bus doesn’t pick up the younger kids until about an hour later. Only one friend rides the bus with her, and that friend wasn’t there that day. Otherwise, her friend would have said something. So now, when the bus garage called me at 11:30 AM to tell me about what happened, they told me she didn’t get to school until 9:30 AM.
But from that day forward, I told her to make sure she takes her phone with her. That way, if something like that happened again, she could have called me or sent me a text. So my mind has completely changed about her having a cell phone.