Recently I’ve become concerned about this subject because I had decided to upgrade my phone to the Samsung Omnia. The Omnia is an excellent phone and has several features that any person would want. It can play video files stored on a memory card or the phones 8 GB internal memory, so I can watch TV series like Smallville and Bleach. I can take notes in Microsoft word in class using a Bluetooth wireless keyboard. I can type a paper when I’m away from home. I can also access the Internet.
As an individual who had problems with pornography addiction, I have to say I do not want to carry the temptation of the Internet around with me 24/7 in my pocket. I currently have the Data Plan blocked on my Moto Q, which has many of the same capabilities. This has been a great help. I don’t receive pornographic texts from my friends, some who find things I find offensive hilarious. I don’t have to worry about the phone being a gateway to the terabytes of free pornography that the web has to offer.
However, I found out that I could not do this without a required Data Plan, which means I can’t have this phone without the company requiring that the internet have access to it. When I called to ask about blocking the Data, the representative asked a somewhat rude question. “Well Mr. Carlson, what are you going to use the phone for?” Their assumption was that anyone buying the phone wants the internet, which is only partially true. I am also worried, what happens when every phone out there requires the internet? Will I have to unblock my current phone? If so, I won’t have a cell phone, I will go back to landline.
What I am wondering is, have the cell phone companies and manufacturers completely overlooked the fact that a huge market for cell phones, teenagers, might have parents that will insist on being able to protect them? What parent is going to let their teenager have unmonitored, unlimited internet access, which can easily be accessed while the parent is not there? This exposes teenagers to harassment, which if you follow the news you might have caught the story about the recent suicide of a girl who was harassed by a former friends mother. Not to mention the many other dangers of the net.
What I hope the companies will realize is that there are many individuals out there who want to protect themselves. Parents, families, everyone has the right to determine whether or not they want a device which requires them to have access to these. Give them the ability to protect themselves, the ability to choose to say no to the internet.
I am mailing copies of this to Verizon, Samsung, Nokia, various Pornography activist groups and my State Senators.