Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cell Out

Yesterday, Kyle got his first cell phone. I had been reluctant to take this step, but my resistance was futile. In a few weeks, Kyle is flying to Portland, Oregon to visit relatives in that area.

And he's flying alone. Someone, please toss me a Xanax.......NOW!

Anyway, I vehemently refused to allow him to take this trip without a cell phone on his person. And Q agreed. At first, he was going to let Kyle borrow his phone. He's logged like seven airtime minutes in the last few weeks. He wouldn't have missed it.

But then my mom informed me that she was planning on buying Kyle a phone for his birthday (he turns 14 in August). When I told her about his upcoming trip, she offered to give him his present early.

Kyle and I went to the Verizon website to view their phone offerings. He had a Motorola phone picked out. But once we got to the store, he found a better one--a Samsung Alias that includes a QWERTY keyboard. Let the texting begin.

And that's exactly what happened. Since yesterday, Kyle's phone usage has consisted of 12 talk minutes (half of which was us testing the phone) and 56 text messages. In fact, he sent me a text then called less than a minute later to see if I got it! Those messages would have cost 20 cents each, but my mom added an unlimited in-network texting add-on to her bundled plan (most of our friends and family have Verizon phones, too).

At $10 per month, that package paid for itself last night.

I'm now convinced that Kyle's new phone is a good thing. He has independence and freedom. And I don't have to call every house in the neighborhood trying to locate my son when he isn't home by dark.

The new phone is also teaching him about budgeting. While Kyle can make any calls he needs, I implored him not to run up Grandma's bill with overage charges. And he seems to be listening. When he called me to check in, Kyle was anxious to get off the phone because he didn't want to use up his minutes.

I just hope the cell phone doesn't become Kyle's primary means of communication. For one thing, I won't be sending him text messages to let him know that dinner's ready. And I will not allow him to turn into one of those insipid teenage washouts who blindly run a cell bill up so high that their mom had to take a night job. If that happens, Kyle will be the one waving at passing cars in a taco costume.