The trouble with being paid to write blogs is that you often neglect your own. So, suddenly, a week has gone by with no update here. Bad me!
I feel very passionately about this week's topic, though: A new service called KidPhone Advocate that was dreamed up by a mom from Colorado whose teenage boy was targeted by a would-be sexual predator via mobile phone. You can get the low-down on the service in my SmartPlanet blog entry. But the crux of the matter is that it will monitor the texts that your child sends and receives for signs of inappropriate behavior. Certain slang, for example, that would lead you to believe that your son or daughter is dabbling in drugs.
You can even add an additional service that will ensure the children CAN'T text while driving!
Let it be known that I am not in favor of "spying" as a rule, but generally speaking mobile phones and smart phones were designed for adults. The parental controls that you can layer onto your home computer to ensure appropriate usage just don't exist on smartphones. At least not right now. It seems to me that one of the smartest things that mobile phone and wireless operators could do moving forward -- given how widely mobiles are used by our children -- is pay more attention to their needs. I'd wager to say that the first operator out of the gate with better controls would find that it had a competitive advantage with those customers seeking family plans.