Simon has a phone now

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, July 20, 2022, 11:36 PM | comments: 0

Another parenting milestone: I bought my kid a phone. We're leaving him at home alone for short periods, and he's going to a big middle school with possible after school activities, so it was time.

Part of it was also timing. Diana's Pixel 4a is over two-years-old, and starting to exhibit battery degradation. Then Google had a sale on the Pixel 6 in advance of the release of the 6a, so $50 more at $500 for the premium phone. I figured we might as well get Simon something nice. It's still way cheaper than an iPhone.

The lockdown parental controls are pretty solid, and powerful since Google is the gateway to most content anyway. It has quirks though, mostly that I can't add a Google Workspace account as a secondary email (primary is a standard Gmail account) as long as it's a Family Link managed device. That's annoying and stupid. I got around it by just connecting it via IMAP after finding the setting to allow "less secure access" or something. Diana and I use these because of the custom domain names, and Simon has one as well.

We're still on Google Fi, now at $50 for the three lines, plus data at $10/gig. Before adding him, we rarely go over 1.5 gigs because WiFi is everywhere. If we needed to go unlimited, it would be $75, though strangely that doesn't include international data, which we definitely use every few months from cruising.

We went through a lot of basic rules, and I think he understands security enough to be skeptical of everything. He had his Roblox password stolen by putting it into some game promising free stuff, but fortunately we had 2FA enabled and Diana got the notification for an attempted login in Vietnam. There was quite a lecture and he felt terrible.

I imagine that driving isn't that far in the future. Yikes.


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