Staying Connected Anytime, Anywhere

20 May

The mobile phone is truly a wonderful must-have device today, keeping us all connected 24/7. With the variety of smartphones available now and with apps like Viber, WhatsApp, Facetime and iMessage to name the ones I use, we are always connected, be it the normal telco connection or via wifi/3G. During the dinosaur era when I was 17, mobile phones were unheard of and I would be hogging the house phone for hours to continue conversations from school with my best buddies.

But of course, you don’t see that with the children of today, hogging the house phone that is. They tweet, Skype, Instagram or status update on Facebook. However, with more and more social app choices available, it is hard to keep up. All I know is my girls are using something that I am not!

When M1 turned 12, both the hubby and I decided maybe it was time for her to have her very first mobile phone. But being only 12, we felt the phone shouldn’t be very expensive yet has all the cool functions. We got her a Sony Ericsson and put her on a post-paid plan instead of pre-paid. The rational was to monitor the calls instead of capping the usage at a monthly fixed pre-paid cost.

That first year, she must have discovered the wonders of staying connected anytime, anywhere. Ten months into ownership, her bill came to a whopping figure, it shocked the daylights out of dear hubby! The amount was more than what he and me uses—combined—for a month! My goodness, you could see smoke coming out from his ears… The punishment: deductions from the daily allowance to settle the bill.

Since then I guess M1 must have learnt her lesson for whenever I try to call her, it is so difficult to get her. She hardly or never picks up or answers the call promptly and will always go to message, which annoys the daylights out of me. Everytime. Hrmph.

When M2 turned 12 last year, the thought of getting her a mobile phone never crossed our minds after our experience with M1. So we left the situation as it is although she had hinted for a mobile phone every now and then. Whenever the situation arises, and in order to justify her need for a mobile phone, I would gently remind her by asking where is the old Samsung phone that she had inherited from me. Knowing full well the reply would be “I don’t know…” it was a practical reminder to her that she is not ready yet to own a mobile phone.

Undeterred, she found a way to overcome this. Proudly she tells me she has been saving her pocket money to buy one, sharing her dreams to have the latest Samsung models or the Apple iPhone5S. I even encouraged her to keep up the good saving trait. But my child being my child, she daringly pestered me to upgrade my phone to the iPhone5S so that she could inherit my old iPhone4; thus her saved funds can be used for something else! Behind the efforts taken, she was worried the fund was very slow to grow and lamented that by the time it became sufficient, she would be looking at probably, an iPhone10! While I did not budge on the upgrade idea, circumstances had me changing my phone this year. So now I have a spanking new iPhone5S and the old iPhone4 is just laying around, doing nothing but collecting dust waiting for new ownership.

And the lure of owning a phone has cropped up again with the 13-year old M2 who aspires to stay connected anytime anywhere with her friends, more than her parents. It remains to be seen whether the old iPhone4 remains to collect dust or be adopted.

So the house phone still has its usage after all.

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