It happened faster than we thought. 10-year old Zoe just got her first mobile phone. As her dad, my thought process has been that she didn’t need one yet. However there were other circumstances that had to be taken into consideration. The main issue is that my wife has been getting pretty sick of receiving text messages from Zoe’s friends all the time. Like many children, Zoe has been using her mom’s cell phone to text all her friends. The other night, our family was out to dinner when my wife received a text from a parent of one those friends. It said “Take my cell phone number off your list, and never use this number again!” You see, Zoe’s friends also use their parents cell phones to text, and from the look of it, they too are getting tired of text messages coming in on their number that are meant for their kids. There are alternatives for a child to communicate with their friends. They could use the home phone, or even better “Facetime” with an iPod Touch via WiFi. They could also use that same iPod for texting. There are plenty of free apps available that let you do just that. But it’s not the same. It’s all about your new identity. Your exclusive cell phone number. A sign that you’re growing up. So what’s a good first phone? Zoe got a Pantech Pursuit 2. One of those “free” phones. It’s actually quite compact and when you slide up the front, a full keyboard is found. It also has green accents that she thinks are pretty “cool”. We added the line to our “family plan” for $9.99 a month via AT&T. She can share the minutes and our unlimited family texting. Sorry Zoe, no data for you. We’ll be keeping a tight hold on Zoe’s cell and texting habits, but so far, so good.