I Blame the Biebs
I feel old.
Why? How? I’m the eldest of three children; my brother is 15 months younger than I am and my sister… is 12 years old.
I feel it is my duty to provide guidance about things like boys (although I don’t think Justin Bieber is too much of a threat at this point), the perils of a fake tan and excessive eyeliner combination (keep it classy!) and how to negotiate with our parents. I’m young enough to understand, yet old enough to know better, so I like to think she appreciates the extra decade or so of wisdom that I can provide her.
This time though, I’m not having any of it.
For some reason, my darling little 12-year-old sibling has an iPhone 4.
My brother and I both had to wait until we were 16 before we were given cellphones, and they definitely weren’t nice cellphones. She got her first one around age 9. We didn’t agree then, but we didn’t kick too much of a fuss.
Fast forward a few years, I have my trusty BlackBerry, my brother has an HTC Dream (another smartphone that’s about a year old now). Our bills are highly scrutinized every month by our fantastic mother, who is kind enough to continue paying for them (I feel I’ll be cut off in the coming months though). Our plans were hand-picked for optimal cost effectiveness. I remember a year or so ago, a spat broke out when we were both running our bills up a little too high. Threats were made, there was a possibility we’d have to pay our own bills. Panic ensued.
Maybe a month ago, I’m sitting on Facebook chat, and sweet baby sister says hello (I don’t think she should have Facebook either, but that’s a whole other can of worms). “I got an iPhone 4” she announces, I can almost see the tween sense of entitlement pulsing off the screen. I immediately text my brother to find out if he knows about this. He’s not amused. “We didn’t get phones – any phones – until we were 16!” I told him I knew that very well.
Apparently my step-dad went rogue and bought one for her. The rationale behind it remains unclear, and despite ringing up astronomical phone bills and demonstrating general lack of responsibility, the phone hasn’t been passed over to my brother. He’s still campaigning.
So I ask the question, when should kids get phones? What should happen if they abuse this privilege?
And my darling little Lexy? “I can pass for 14,” was her response when Rob told her that she didn’t need an iPhone at 12. The point was missed, and she chose to ignore me as I explained meticulously why looking like a 14 year old does not equal being a 14 year old.
Maybe I should try making a spreadsheet or something. A PowerPoint with pie charts… Hmm.