I'm one of those Mums who has a pretty strong opinion about children not owning too much gadgetry and technology.
This is never truer for me than on the subject of phones. I accept that back in the day we had 10p in our pocket and hoped to find a working phonebox if we needed our parents, and that isn't ideal now.
But quite frankly the stories of teens driven to suicide by text and online bullying and youngsters sharing every moment of their lives at a tender age where they are so impressionable terrifies me. Not to mention the fact that access to adult sites and much more sinister onlinecriminal activity, and it's adding to mental health problems amongst our youth that is escalating.
Therefore, when the time comes for our girls to have more independence one day, and a phone of their own, it will NOT be a smartphone. There's plenty of time for that when their older and paying for them themselves.
What's that? They will get bullied for not having the right sort of phone?
I don't think either of them will care a hoot about that.
All that is many years off for us, but I recently came across an article about a very simple kind of phone that can only ring 4 or 6 pre-programmed numbers. They can be stored under names or even photos. My husband, a tech geek was pretty impressed too.
"How fabulous for adults with a learning disability!"
I thought to myself.
And then I filed that info away in the recesses of my mind.
So, we were all rather excited when Own Fone approached us to trial their 1st Fone which is exactly what we had been reading about. Natty is too young to need it right now, but Mia could use it when she does sports days away from home, or she visits a friend's house, so we agreed to trial it.
Each phone is made to order with the numbers/words/photos of most sutable for the user and you can choose from 10s of patterns for the shell. We went for blue chihuahuas (well, dogs) and chose our home number and both parents' mobiles.
The phone arrived really quickly considering it was bespoke, and the girls couldn't wait to open the tiny box and try it out. Once charged we practised using it and Natty got the hang of it quickly as it really is very simple to use. Natty is able to read those words but the photo option would be ideal for those who need a symbol or other visual cue. Incidentally she can't ring 999 by accident as that button has to be pressed 3 times to work.
I think the phone is great. It's small and light enough for Natty's little hands and fingers. It's on a pay as you go tariff so which is perfect as it won't be used often so will be cheap to run. It is a lovely fun, and dare I say it funky, first phone for when it is needed but it is completely unstealable. I mean who wants a small plastic phone with only 4 numbers in it that belong to someone else's Mum!
Mia is very proud to show it off however, and I can see her setting a trend for simpler technology in the phone department amongst her peers.
I can see this being ideal for the elderly who live alone, or adults who need a fuss free communication device and Own Fone have many types and styles to suit.