As Apple prepares to introduce the iPhone 5, I’ve begun reminiscing about a deal I struck with my 13-year-old daughter.
She’s always wanted an iPhone. In fact, she’s wanted one since they came out in 2007 – when she was 8 years old. But my response was always the same: “No, you don’t need one. I know where you are every second of the day. There’s no need for a phone.”
Then came middle school. That old argument didn’t hold up anymore.
As a result, she got her first cell. It wasn’t anything fancy (i.e., it wasn’t an iPhone), just a basic-feature phone that let her make calls and text. “Mom, I’m over at blah, blah’s house. Mom, I’ll be home at blah, blah time. Mom, can I go to the blah, blah movie?”
Life was good. No more whining.
Then came her 13th birthday. The whining returned. She wanted an iPhone 4S. A deal was struck. She would have to pay for her own data plan, which meant she would have to do the above-and-beyond chores around our house like gardening, vacuuming, dusting, etc. You get the picture.
But when we were crafting the deal, I did have a big concern. She’s a real data hog and could easily blow way a 2GB limit with all the YouTube videos she and her friends watch. Sure, she has a one hour limit of tube time (Computer, TV, Video Games) during the weekdays, but Saturdays are limitless as long as no homework is due on Monday.
Then I had an idea. Why not let her inherit my unlimited data plan? I use my company’s smartphone all the time for my email and testing out apps. My data needs are likely a fraction of hers.
So, we switched. She picked up my cell phone number and unlimited data plan and I received her phone number and basic feature phone, which I have to admit is rather yucky. Ahh, the sacrifices we make for our children.