Today my girlie has a friend over. It's an all-day, all-night playdate. Fun. They've scrapbooked and goofed around and now they're working on a Broadway-style production. I love this girl and her family.
So I'm not annoyed as much as puzzled by this exchange with our young guest.
Eleanor: Be careful! Don't squish your cellphone! (The girls were climbing in and out of a big shipping box and taking turns decorating it. Yeah, they're 10 1/2 and 12 and still play in boxes.)
Guest: It's getting in the way!
Me: Where is it?
Guest: It's in my pocket!
Me: Why don't you just put your phone with your other stuff? You don't need it now.
Guest: Well, my friends keep texting me to ask where I am. And I have to text them back to say "I'm with a friend and can't talk now" but they text me back to ask what I'm doing and I text again to say "I can't talk now!"
Me: Why don't you just stop answering them then? You don't have to respond immediately.
She didn't answer this. Not out of rudeness; she just didn't have anything to say. And their game went on.
I don't get the impression that the phone and the texting was troublesome to Eleanor, who does not have her own cellphone and has never received a text in her life. (She has sent a few to her Dad, dictated by me while driving.) I haven't had a chance to ask if it bothered her, and will probably forget about it by the time I do. It's not particularly troublesome to me, except: here is this girl, not even a teen yet, who already feels the urgency of responding immediately to every text message from friends. While, by the way, at the home of another friend.
Of course, it would seem rude to the texting friends if she didn't respond to them immediately. Because they know she has the phone, and that she has constant access to it. It's not as if she might be out of the house and away from the home phone. She has the phone, she can answer the phone... so she must answer the phone.
I know I'm getting old but I just don't want to be a part of that world. And I don't want my kids to either.
But I don't guess I can stop it.
Do you ever ignore your cell phone? Do your kids?