Janesville57°

The relentless pursuit of technology

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Laura Feit
May 24, 2011

Relentless. Unwavering. Persistent. Totally and completely focused on the goal. I can’t find a word strong enough that describes my son’s dedication to convincing me he needs an IPod Touch for his 8th birthday.

His quest started about six months ago. It was a casual request that was denied with the standard explanation, “It’s too expensive, you’re too young, and why do you need one?” Of course his response was “But EVERYONE has one Mom AND I have that much money in my bank account. Plus I can text!” (I’ve let him text his cousins and grandparents from my phone.) And, yes, he’s had a savings account since he was a month old.

I have to hand it to him, every Sunday he goes through the newspaper and pulls out all the flyers that have any type of phone/MP3 player featured. He shows me the different models, which one he wants and how much money we can save if we buy it now at place A, B, or C. He also keeps the flyer in his room or backpack until the new one comes out the following Sunday.

I have nothing against technology, in fact I’m all about checking out the newest smart phone, tablet or 3-D flat screen. I just don’t think an eight year old needs to be that connected. If he’s not with me or at home, he’s with my husband, teachers, or my parents, who does he need to call or text? I must admit he’s so persuasive that I have wavered on occasion and I suspect he even sicced his aunt (my sister) into talking me into letting him get “a phone.” Her timing was just too coincidental and her reasoning was so compelling I almost caved – again. But I always fall back to “When you’re 10 you can have one.”

Why 10 and not 8? At 10 he’ll be heading into middle school and I’m sure the “everyone has one” will be closer to the truth, he’ll be more mature and responsible, and there will be a need based on his involvement with after school activities, etc. Do your kids have their own smart phone? What age is the right age and why?



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