Hey, I Can See You on my Phone!
Hey, I Can See You on my Phone!
Last week I chaperoned a field trip for my son’s sixth grade class. Before leaving school, the teachers asked the students to leave all cell phones in their lockers. The majority of the students proceeded to get up and relinquish their latest high tech gadget. On one hand I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t the only parent suckered into purchasing my son a cell phone, on the other I wondered what they were all using them for. With our hectic schedules and multitude of after school activities a cell phone can be a critical lifeline for a teen. Used for other purposes, it can cause a lot of heartache.
Along with the simple functionality of calling home and receiving calls from mom and dad, my son’s phone came loaded with all the newest bells and whistles. OK, so I’m a hip Mom and I know how to text message, I even know the lingo (shorthand) that allows me to not only receive but understand my kids messages. It is harmless enough that he can play his MP3s (music files) and take pictures on the field trip. But the scary feature is the video capability.
Cell phone video technology allows any user to record and play videos that you might not approve of as a parent. According to market research, adult content on the mobile telephone and other portable devices is anticipated to boom in the next year. Users can download wallpapers and video content from a multitude of services right from their phone. And kids aren't just watching pornography on their cell phones, they're using cell phones to make their own.
If your child's phone has Internet access, check with your service provider to find out how you can block adult sites. The provider might do it for you, or you might have to do it on the phone. Even if your children don't have web access from their phones, friends can download pictures and send them in text messages to your child's phone.
What can you do as a parent?
First, remember who is paying for that cell phone! You have every right to look through the phone and check out the images, text messages, videos and phone logs to see what your kids are doing.
Second, take a close look at the bill each month, if you don’t know what they downloaded, ask them to show you (and make sure they pay you back!)
Finally, talk with you kids and let them know what you know! Kids think their parents are technically incompetent and they can get away with anything. Just talking about it might make them think twice.
If you have any questions about this issue or any issue related to our kids and technology, please contact me here
Computer Training Wheels
Last edited by Howard Hartman; 12-22-2007 at 11:49 AM.
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