“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” you might be thinking. “My kid would never access inappropriate content on the Internet. How dare you? My kid only texts me and her grandma and her catty group of seventh-grade friends who, now that I actually think about it, are preteens who can get inexplicably mean when they’re online and probably shouldn’t be texting at all and perhaps this is all a gigantic farce and . . . wait. Stop. What was I saying again?”
Exactly. And you know what? All of that texting can be done from a widely available, non-Internet connected phone — the Z1 Gabb, the Light Phone 2, and the Jitterbug Flip are examples — that has the added bonus of not providing access to the World Wide Web of porn. (My friend Brooke Shannon, the founder of Wait Until 8th and an amazing resource when it comes to navigating the digital age, has a helpful roundup of alternative communication devices here.)
“Whatever,” you might also be thinking. “My kid has an iPhone, but I have it locked down. All the parental controls are in place!” That’s certainly better than nothing, but have you ever met the Internet? Like those rogue, murderous, genetically engineered dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, the Internet can morph. It always finds a way.