- 05-08-2009, 02:40 PM #26
- 05-08-2009, 03:04 PM #27
- 05-08-2009, 04:15 PM #28
This is a place that we talk about toys. I do not need an iPhone. I do not kid myself that I need one but I can hardly wait for the opportunity to buy another one.
When I was four, my Dad bought us an electric train. This was right before WW II when toys competed with guns and bombs. By the time I was seven, it was the biggest train set in the neighborhood. We added to it all during the war, buying from other hobbyists. In this truly disposable world, it is hard to believe the tiny scale of the repairs we made. The hours that we spent together with those trains were among the most joyful of my childhood. I am sure those trains, and the ability to share them, gave my father joy. Toys and the joy that they give us are what we talk about here. Please do not rain on our parade.
When the 3G was available, I gave my iPhone to an 11 year old. He does not need it but it gives us both joy. Computers are the most fun toy since electric trains. They are much cheaper than trains were when I was tiny.
His screen is cracked. It will give us both joy when we get it fixed. He has a share of GOOG. He got it for Christmas. He does not need it. It is a toy. It gives us joy. When he was seven he said to me, "I am so glad you are here. You can help me upgrade to AOL 9.0." He did not need help. It was about the sharing. It gave us joy. I thought about those trains.
When my now 31 year old godson was 9, he wanted a remote control car, not a toy car, but a hobbyist car. Much more expensive than an iPhone. I kept hearing that guilty voice in my ear that said, "He does not need it. He is too young. He may break it. You are spoiling him." I did not buy it. His stepfather bought it for him. Low these decades later, even with all the toys we did share, I still envy them the joy of those cars. I thought of those trains.
This toy will not come at the expense of anything she needs. I envy her and I envy her mother and I wish them joy. I gave my 8 year old niece a Touch. She does not need it. She is now in Brazil so we "chat" about it and on it. I think of those trains.
We do not give our kids toys because they need them but because we can.
Indulge yourself. Buy a child an outrageous toy. The child will survive. And when she is grown, she may have a memory like my memory of those trains.
I wish you joy.
Last edited by whmurray; 05-08-2009 at 04:30 PM.
- 05-08-2009, 05:06 PM #29
- 05-08-2009, 05:56 PM #30
My 3 year old godson has an iPod touch. He sits on my lap and plays with the iPod, or my iPhone. He can navigate it like a pro, play his games, take photos of his toys, record his songs. He rarely sits on my lap anymore and hugs are increasingly rare.
So, yeah. He doesn't need an iPod touch either. But the cost and excess of his having one is priceless to the both of us (at least I know it is to me, and hope very much it remains to him for at least a little while longer).
Tangentially, while maybe a toy of sorts, it's also an experience and a learning opportunity. And scarily enough -- it's likely the *most primitive* piece of technology he'll think back to having in the many years to come.
- 05-09-2009, 11:04 AM #31
One iPhone per Child
When I was a child, we were fairly prosperous people. While we might not have been the most prosperous in the school or church, we were usually the most prosperous in the neighborhood.
However, paper was still expensive and books often beyond some people's needs. My father was very well read but when I was six his library was three feet of the Reader's Digest. An encyclopedia was a major purchase, often done on credit. My mother paid for ours on the "installment plan," sometimes out of "grocery money." Many families bought theirs in the grocery store, one volume at a time. Even as late as the 50's most television sets were financed.
Imagine a world in which we can give every child a computer more powerful and robust than the original PC, indeed, more powerful than the IBM 704 on which I cut my teeth in 1956, and smaller than a book-bag, lunch-box, book, or sandwich. Throw in 35,000 application programs, about half of which are free and 99% of which are priced at less than $5-. (One can buy dozens for the cost of a DVD, much less the cost of a game for a DS Lite.) Include all of the favorite family games including Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Uno, and Scrabble. Now throw in an encyclopedia and a library of all the classic literature. Now add access to all music, movies, podcasts, and much performance art. Include the ability to record text, image, and sound. Now price this at less than the cost of a television set, a bicycle, or a Wii.
Shouldn't the question be how crazy does one have to be not to do it? Shouldn't we prefer early over late? Shouldn't any alternative use of the money have to pass a very high hurdle? Shouldn't "One iPhone per Child" trump "One Laptop per Child?"
I have yet to see a three year-old who would not prefer an iPhone or Touch to any other toy in the world. Yet to see one who could not identify the icon for pictures or scroll through to their favorites.
I have two great nieces and two great nephews whose mother insists upon equity in number and value of gifts given to her children. That tends to increase the cost and lower the value of gifts. One Touch would start a war and four cost too much. They all have DS Lites but will fight over my iPhone. The youngest is a tiny and rambunctious seven but will sit quietly with the iPhone for as long as his siblings will allow.
I have convinced myself. Christmas I will bite the bullet secure in the knowledge that they will not read this and hold me accountable for the eight month delay.
Last edited by whmurray; 05-09-2009 at 11:12 AM.
- 05-09-2009, 12:04 PM #32
My goddaughter's toddler, Ellery, comes up to me about once an hour when I am there and says, "(I want to) See Parker." Parker is the only one of her cousins that is younger than she is. I open Parker's folder and give her the iPhone. She scrolls through the folder, pausing on her favorites. Then she says, "Now me." and hands me the phone to open her folder.
Her mother also has an iPhone and enjoys the same ritual. I am sure that in Ellery's world all computers contain pictures in general, pictures of Parker in particular, and, since she is not yet into games, that pictures are the primary application of computers.
Last edited by whmurray; 05-09-2009 at 12:10 PM.
- 05-09-2009, 01:54 PM #33
- 05-09-2009, 03:37 PM #34
We are talking about toys here, as distinguished from necessities. We are talking about children, not young adults. We learn appreciation through experience, not privation. From privation in a world of plenty we learn envy. That is why we give children iPods, take them to ball games, museums, concerts, and Broadway shows. Have you noticed that the most successful shows on Broadway are "kid friendly?"
Have you noticed that we are the first civilization in the history of the world to give all our children 12 years of schooling and our elite kids 20 and even 24. Have you noticed that small boys are only small for a few years? Enjoy! Hurry! It will be too late too soon. Do you know Fiddler on the Roof? Sunrise, Sunset?
A deprived 17 year old may never get over it. He will be dependent for his whole life.
For a seven year old, you are talking about nine years. You do not really think we are going to be using blackberries and iPhones in nine years do you? In nine years I expect to drink my nano-network in my orange juice; babies will get theirs in their pablum.
Oh please, let go of my chain! You really were kidding, weren't you? I really can relax, right? Whew. You really had me going there for a minute.
Last edited by whmurray; 05-11-2009 at 10:57 AM.
- 05-11-2009, 10:01 AM #35iPhone Newbie
- 26 Posts
I personally think that a 7 year old is way too young for a cell phone, let alone an iPhone. The device requires a level of maturity and responsibility that a child of that age just doesn't have. Then again, I find most teenagers fall into a similar category.
But, hey, it's your kid and your money. If you can handle the potential loss or damage to the iPhone financially, and are willing to take the time to educate the child on how to act responsibly with the device, more power to you.
- 05-11-2009, 12:22 PM #36
- 05-11-2009, 12:32 PM #37
- iPhone Newbie
- 17 Posts
While I appreciate the arguments for and against a child having an iphone, I find it amusing that these arguments were likely used for every advancement our civilazation has experienced. New technology should only be available to those who can appreciate it; children were not worthy.
When I was 7 (ironically), the first PCs were available, and the common thought from my parents (and friends' parents) was that it was not necessary for us to have this. This is not the case today. I'm guessing that the same thinking was originally applied for televisions, cars, etc. IMO, what's amazing is that usually it's the following generations that change the common perception of new technology...and whmurray, who seems to have more life experience than most of us , is way ahead of his time!
Also, FWIW, in order for a child to be spoiled, they also must be ungrateful. So, in order to not have a spoiled child, you can either not give them everything, or you can teach them to be grateful for what they get. Note: being spoiled has nothing to do with the value of objects wanted/given.
In the wisdom of yoda, "an iphone does not a spoiled child make".
- 05-11-2009, 08:53 PM #39
Practice is the price of mastery but one should be given the instrument to practice on. Incidentally, except for the fact that he loved to practice the piano, Mozart was otherwise a very "spoiled 7 year old."
According to the original post, "She actually uses my iPhone WAY more than her nintendo. Mostly, she plays games, but also she listens to music and watches youtube vidoes (with supervision). She will also text grandma and her cousin sometimes." That sounds like practice to me.
One iPhone (or Touch) per child.
- 05-11-2009, 09:17 PM #40
- 05-12-2009, 04:32 PM #41
When the Frog Prince was a little more than a toddler and got angry with me, he would say, "I hate you!"
Me: I can live with that.
FP: No you can't.
Me: Yes I can. I got along without you before I met you: I can get along without you now.
FP: Unh uh.
Me: Okay, I give up. You win.
FP: No, I give up, you win.
How about: Gecko Netbook runs on AA batteries | Crave - CNET ?
Incidentally, before the Frog Prince gave up, he had already forgotten what he was angry about.
- 05-13-2009, 10:01 AM #42iPhone Newbie
- 33 Posts
As a mother to a 7 year old, I would never ever give my daughter an iPhone. I am an IT and I have made sure my daughter is very tech savy, but she has NO need for a cell phone let alone an iPhone. My baby doesn't even pick her barbies up half the time and I am always washing little things she leaves in her pocket. My point is The maturity level of any 7 year old I know is not even close to being developed enough for the reposibility that having an iphone entails.
Last edited by jewelz; 05-13-2009 at 10:17 AM.
- 05-13-2009, 10:16 AM #43
- 05-13-2009, 10:54 PM #44
What part of "toy" do you not understand? No child "needs" any toy. This is about us, not the child. Toys are luxuries, not necessities. We are teaching here, not expecting, much less demanding. This is not about "maturity" so much as maturing.
Aside from price, the only difference between an iPhone and a Barbie, is that the iPhone teaches.
As for washing, I still wash things that I leave in my pockets.
I can certainly understand the decision of an adult not to buy an iPhone for a child. More likely, I can understand that it would not even occur to most people to even consider. What I have trouble with, is the resistance to the idea of other people doing it. What I cannot understand is people making it about the child rather than the adult. We buy them Playstations, Wiis, DSLites, and DVD players, not to even mention televisions. One might much prefer for them to have an iPhone than a TV. We do not buy them televisions because they "need" them, do we?
We are talking trivia here, not national security.
One iPod Touch or iPhone per child (depending upon how much time the child spends on the phone). (These days, children learn their numbers so that they can call their grandmothers. They do not "need" to call their grandmothers but the child and the grandmothers like it.)
Five years ago, people made exactly the same argument about cell phones for teenagers. While a few people still rant about it, it is a settled argument. Note that we did not yield to pressure from the children; we decided for ourselves that we wanted them to have them for our own convenience. We wanted teenagers to learn to drive for our own convenience. We took the risk of their "responsibility."
Five years from now, this thread is going to look silly. Five years from now, cell phones much more powerful than an iPhone will come in a Cracker Jack box. They will be consumables. You do not believe me? Remember three years ago when 128K thumb drives cost tens of dollars?
Last edited by whmurray; 05-13-2009 at 11:34 PM.
- 05-13-2009, 11:36 PM #45
- 05-14-2009, 09:22 AM #46
When Nicole was three, she was into balloons. Ask her what she wanted, she would say "a balloon." We bought them by the hundreds. When one popped, she would say, "That is what balloons do." When she spilled something, as she was disposed to do, her brother would say, "Stuff happens."
When my 19 year old brother drove my brand new Oldsmobile Cutlass (Yes, I am that old), he had an accident. I sent the insurance man to the scene. My position was that if I could not lend it and be comfortable with the consequences, I really could not afford to own it.
Steve took it a little more seriously than that. Years later, when I visited in his city for a week, he loaned me his Mercedes 500 for the week. When I thanked him for his generosity, he reminded me of the Cutlass.
When I visit with my brother's grandchildren, they ask to play with my iPhone. Others worry that "They might break it." My reaction is that it is backed up and that it will give me an excuse to buy a new one.
My first (analog) cell phone cost $1500 in 1986, down from $3000 in 1985. I paid $1- per minute for airtime plus $1 a minute for roaming plus long distance tolls. It was capital. A phone that I get for tens of dollars with a $60 a month all-in contract is a consumable. I appreciate that some people stretch to buy an iPhone like I stretched for that first analog. I would like to assure you that it will not always be a big deal.
Written down on the list of Heresies and Other Words I Try to live by, it says, "If you would be happy, count your blessings, and give of your bounty."
Last edited by whmurray; 05-14-2009 at 09:42 AM.
- 05-14-2009, 06:20 PM #47
If you have the money to spend 3000 dollars on a cell phone and pay a dollar a minute then yes, you would most likely say "stuff happens".
Living on a teachers salary, 300 dollars and 90 dollars a month is a lot of money.
And I must disagree with the comment on the iPhone "teaching" while a barbie does not. God forbid a kid socializes with another child and uses their imagination. I have let a few young kids play with my phone, and the first thing that ask is "where are the games?". Then they have their face buried in it for an hour... What was taught there?
I would take the 300 dollars and buy my kid a new bike. Get them outside and active. When I was 7 I would have been pleased with the box it came in.
I agree, this thread in 5 years will be ridiculous... But is that a good thing? It used to be baseball and riding bikes, now its iPhones and video games. And we wonder why half of this country is obese!
- 05-14-2009, 07:05 PM #48
Stop Blaming the Kids
What ever happened to "I do not want to?" "I would rather spend my money on something else. " "My desires are more important." "I cannot afford it." "I am afraid that it will it will get broken." Even, "I am afraid that it will spoil her." Those are not the arguments being made here.
It is about us and our choices. It is not about necessity or privation. It is not about the technology.
Grow up. Stop blaming the kids. Kids are kids; such as they are, they do the best they can.
One iPhone or Touch per child.
I remember those trains.
Last edited by whmurray; 05-16-2009 at 09:26 PM.