I tend to think of the cell phones I pressed into my kids’ hands as a safety net. I like knowing I can reach my little ones whenever I want to. I know that if they are scared, lost, or just bored at camp they can call me and check in or ask for a ride home. My kids are tweens so I’m also thinking ahead to when they are teenagers and might get themselves in situations they want help getting out of. I might even stoop (okay I plan to stoop) to adding a GPS tracking service to their phone so I can check up on where they really are when they tell me they are going to the library. (I wasn’t born yesterday.) And I know that a kid with a cell phoneâ€”even if she is unable to dial itâ€”is much easier to find than one who isn’t. What parent doesn’t like that idea?
But I’m working on an article for a major print publication on this topic and want viewpoints other than my own. Do you worry that it’s dangerous for your kids to constantly Twitter, Plurk, Friendfeed, or even just text message a group about their whereabouts? Are you concerned that they can access smut (albeit really small smut) from their phone? Are they addicted? Do they ignore anyone who isn’t texting them? Are they sharing video in some way that upsets you? What measures have you taken to deal with any of these problems? What’s worked? What hasn’t? Please share details in the comments.
Please note: If you are a PR professional and you have a service targeted at parents of kids with teens, bring it on. I want to hear from you, too.