Life's Moments

Being The “Only” Kid Without A Smartphone

February 5, 2020

Several years ago when I was introduced to the decluttering and minimalism movements, I took many things to heart to tidy up my life. Since I used my phone as much as any other typical human in our society, the first adjustment I made was to get rid of all of the notifications.

The dings naturally drew me in to check on my phone, but it was the numbers on my screen that actually made me cringe. It was the anxiety of knowing there is something I should be clearing to get everything back to zero. At this time, I even went through my email and got my inbox empty. I took care of everything when it came in.

I finally had my phone working for me instead of the other way around. That is until my daughter and her friends started texting. She is 11 and is one of the few kids her age that doesn’t have her own phone. The texting itself solidifies even more why it will still be a couple years till she can get her own.

Recently, her volleyball team started a group chat and since my daughter uses my number the messages are on my phone.

The messages start at 7am when some of her teammates are already getting ready for school. And they trickle in through the day until the girls are out of school, then the flood gates open. This morning before I even dropped my boys off at school there were EIGHTY messages from her team. Now there is a big 8-0 and it’s taking all my energy not to go and clear the whole thing.

I knew that sharing a phone with my pre-teen daughter wasn’t going to be the easier thing in the world but I have to keep my phone on silent because of all the dinging. The problem with this is, I don’t know when a message comes in for me or if someone is calling. I would like to go in and turn off the notifications for certain numbers because I still want to be able to use my phone throughout the day.

Another thing that caught my eye as these messages were coming in was the timestamps. These girls are texting during class and trying not to get caught by their teachers. That’s all my daughter needs is a distraction in school. She is a great student and I don’t want her getting caught up in messages during school hours. My case for not giving her a phone is becoming more and more solidified as these issues start creeping up even more.

She might hate me because she’s not like her friends, but I’m okay with that, knowing full well there is plenty of time for her be on MY phone after school where I can still monitor her usage.

How did you know your child was responsible enough to get a phone?

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