Cell phones and their teenagers.

Parents buy cell phones for their teenagers because they want to be able to reach them at all times.  It makes parents believe that their youngsters will be safe.  If they are threatened in any way they can call a parent or a friend or the police.  And that’s why teenagers have cell phones.  Yeah, right.

Yesterday I took my fourteen-year-old granddaughter to lunch and to shop for her birthday.  I’m amazed that we ever communicated enough to make the date.  The night before I started by texting Ms MM.  As a rule, teenagers will respond to a text much more promptly than to a call.  Not so this time.  I talked with her mom and she told me that MM’s phone had problems and she could not text out.  And I suppose she didn’t bother checking her texts since she couldn’t text back.  My logical brain is telling me she could have called me but teens don’t really like to call.  I will give her this: if she had read the text, she would have called me.  She’s respectful that way toward her grammy.  In fact I would add that she’s generally respectful of others whether it’s her grandmother or not.

I had decided that I would have to talk to her another day and book a date for the weekend.  So I went to bed.  The next day around 11:00 I received a call from the beautiful Ms MM.  I knew immediately who was calling because my phone tells me the call is from Ms MM, my fave granddaughter.  I wonder who programmed that into my phone.  Giggle.  I also have a granddaughter A, my fave granddaughter.  (They’re almost the same age.)  So, back to this little story–MM was calling to ask if I could pick her up at a friend’s house and oh, by the way, could I also take another friend home.  And so I did.

MM and I then went to the mall, had lunch and shopped for her birthday.  She is  never at a loss for words and we had a great conversation while we were eating.  She explained to me  about her phone and all that is wrong with it.  About two years ago her dad bought her a much-begged-for iPhone and she had it only a few days when she left it lying on her dad’s car and forgot about it.  Dad didn’t know it was there.  He took off in the car and the rest is history–a smashed iPhone.  She was then given a discarded phone from some family member and now it’s about to bite the dust.  She can have a new phone when her two-year waiting period has elapsed.  It’s coming up soon.  Meantime she rides along with me and lovingly caresses my phone, and texts people.

I told her, with my tongue in my cheek, why she has a phone in the first place.  See first paragraph above.  It’s for my convenience and her parents’ convenience and texting her friends should be the last thing on her list.  At first she looked at me with those big brown eyes and nodded as if she agreed with me.  But when I told her the next time I couldn’t get an answer I would call the police and report her missing, she caught the twinkle in my eye and started to grin.  She told me, “That wouldn’t be too good.”

She’s a smart girl.  I bet she understood that it concerns her parents and me when we can’t reach her.

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12 thoughts on “Cell phones and their teenagers.

  1. Pat, it took my wife and I while to figure it out, but if we want a response from any of our children; we stand a better chance if it’s through a text. These aren’t teenages any more, they are i the twenties crowd. What happened to a simple phone call? Nice Post AJ

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    • Thanks, AJ. One think I know–if I don’t adapt to whatever technology the youngsters are playing with, I won’t have the kind of relationship with them that i want to have. It’s worth the effort. And on occasion I get a compliment for not being an old fuddy dud. 🙂

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  2. Oh, my. I identify! If I call the grandkids, they don’t pick up. If I leave a VM, they don’t retrieve it. Texting is the only way. Then, when I don’t get a response I go through the gamut of wondering, “Are they ignoring me? Are they okay? Are they…?”

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    • As an FYI, for my kids, they have their phones set so the ringer is off but the phone vibrates when a text arrives. This way they can surreptiously text at school If caught, the phone is confiscated. Accepting a phone call at school is a sure way to lose a phone. Alas, the kids are too disorganized to switch from Quiet to Normal mode when they get home. This may be why they appear to be ignoring you.

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    • I like SD’s answer. I don’t think they’re ignoring us, they just have a lot going on. The best thing for me is to avoid worrying about them. Wasted worry. Wasted energy. 🙂

      How are you and your crutches doing? How much longer?

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  3. I love the total naïveté on your part!

    Cell phones are so teens can keep in touch with each other.

    If it occasionally means that a parent can make contact, that is an incidental benefit for us, not them. Just as dogs communicate with each other by sniffing anything and everything as you take them for a walk (“Look, Buddy’s been here!” and “Harriet peed here! This is first-class pee — she is in good health!”), teens use texting as a complete means of communication.

    They do this even though it is a slow and clunky means of communication when compared, with the phone part of a cell phone. For example, I cannot count the number of times I have been delayed because one or more of my girls are using text messages with incomplete questions and answers to plan a sleepover/party/get-together and I don’t have enough information to leave the house yet because I need to know who is driving who where and when, where they will be, who will pick them up, etc. *sigh*

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I often get texts from my teen girls when they are in the same house and — occasionally — in the same room.

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    • Your second sentence above is, of course, spot on. Five of my nine grandchildren are now teenage girls. I have so much fun with them. I even updated my phone some months ago so I could text more easily. I abbreviate and everything. LOL.

      Thanks for your comment, SD. It’s good to hear from you.

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  4. You made me laugh which is always good. Laughed because your descriptions were so you that I could actually visualize the conversations. You’re a wonderful grandmother.

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