Sunday, December 15, 2013

Spoiler Alert! Rich Suburban Families

Parents in suburban towns are spoiling their children.
We all already knew this, but it has come to my attention that fourth graders are receiving iPhones for Christmas.

I mean, come on. I got my first phone in fifth grade, and it was the same crappy phone I have now, three years later. That's not to say that back then it was the worst phone available, but it was not the best. My phone was an $80 Samsung Juno. It's basically a fake Blackberry. Everyone asks me if my phone is a Blackberry. Dude, does it LOOK like a Blackberry? Also, who would even buy a Blackberry? They're practically already out of business!
This whole phone-rant was inspired by a conversation I had earlier today during babysitting.
  • Kid (4th grader): I think I'm getting an iPhone 5 for Christmas. Or my birthday.
  • Me (babysitter, 8th grader): Oh yeah? How do you know? Also, the iPhone 5 is not the newest--
  • Kid: I heard my parents talking about it.
  • Me: Really?
  • Other kid (younger than Kid): No, she didn't.
  • Kid: Well, I just think I'm getting one. AND, I'll have a better phone than YOU!
  • Me: Well, I'm actually getting an iPhone 5s.
Geez. She shouldn't get her hopes up, because I don't think her parents are stupid enough to hand a $700 device over to an irresponsible (sorry, Kid, it's true) 4th grader.
However, her parents are rich (the parents have a sauna, iPhones, Hunters, Uggs, Michael Kors totes, iPads, etc.) and they'd probably gladly give her another (with maybe 5 minutes of yelling).

Talk about spoiling your kids. I'm not saying that's what's happening in this situation (I'll let you know if the 4th grader actually ends up with the iPhone), but giving a glass/aluminum object to a kid, and telling them to take it wherever they go... That's just an accident waiting to happen.
Also, I know what school they go to, and they use cubbies instead of lockers. What if someone steals the phone? Will her parents believe her? Will they give her another? Will they punish her for "lying?"

Why is this spoiling? At this point in her life, Kid only wants the iPhone for the title. The bragging rights. Not the function. She doesn't even know how expensive it is. She doesn't have to chip in and pay for some of it. She doesn't know how to take care of it, how not to break its screen (I've seen too many of these instances; witnessed one, in fact. See blog post Cracked Screens and Phone Numbers). She doesn't know how precious it is to some people. She doesn't know that there are some, less fortunate kids/adults who would KILL for a phone at all, let alone an iPhone! She doesn't know that some kids get their first crappy phone when they start college. She can't appreciate it. She'll use it nonstop for a while, then she'll get bored of it. She'll love it, until the iPhone 6 comes out. Actually, scratch that. She's so small and ignorant, she won't know when the iPhone 6 is released. Ignorant, irresponsible children should not be getting iPhones.

Then why did YOU get a phone in fifth grade, since you say kids shouldn't get phones? When I was in 5th grade, I was the most responsible kid I knew. I never used my phone for anything but calls to my parents. Never dropped it once (I started dropping it when I wanted a new phone, in like 7th grade). Never let other people borrow it to call anyone. I always had--and have--at least $150 left on it (you have to add $10 every other month, this money is used for calling/texting/web. $0.10/text, $0.20/calling minute). Also, it was necessary for me. My friends and I used to hang out after school at the pizza places and convenience store once a week, on half days.

Story time: Since I had trouble denying my friends use of my phone (I was, and still am, a pushover), I ended up leaving it at home sometimes on half days and my mom would tell me to be home at a certain time. I was always home at that time. And when I did have my phone with me, I called in 2-hour increments. Not a funny story, but it shows you how much of a pushover I am, haha :)

Today is:
The 349th day of the year
16 days left in 2013
16 days until New Year's Eve
10 days until Christmas

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