Join Date: May 2002
Location: like Siberia, but with better restaurants
I think most of those six-year-olds with cell phones had parents who wanted new phones themselves, and there was a technology cascade. My younger daughter would have really loved a smartphone to use as a music player, and if we'd had early-generation iPhones that we didn't want to use any longer... we weren't early adopters, though, so no joy there. I'm still using my first smartphone, and my husband replaced his in July because his first smartphone died.
We bought her a smartphone for her birthday, though. She's twelve. Her fifteen-year-old sister still doesn't have a smartphone because she turns her nose up at the idea. Republic Wireless will sell you an inexpensive smartphone with a $10/month unlimited calling/texting plan and no data plan, which is actually a much better deal than most of what's out there; she can use data over wifi and she can use the phone as a music player and so on.
Anyway, on the most fundamental level, you get your kid a phone when they start to need a phone, usually because they're doing stuff independently, but you might want them to have a phone because they're riding the school bus home and your neighbor's kid got dropped off at the wrong stop and freaked out. Or because you share custody with a fucknut ex. Or because they're in a play and rehearsals finish at somewhat unpredictable times. Or any number of other reasons.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.