a red cellphone sitting on a table

The Red

In our family, the iPhone 6 Plus that I absorbed from a finalised Telstra Plan in 2016,  is colloquially known as ‘The Red’. Factually, The Red is a piece of melded sapphire glass, aluminium, graphite, cobalt et al that somehow allows humans to think they are communicating with other humans on the other sides of their world. Also that they are violently slaying pigs and birds.

But to Jerry The Red is also representative of a solution. Because if you were to take an iPhone 6 Plus to school (it’s still a theory because I haven’t allowed it yet) you would instantly gain acceptance and the approval of all the kids you desperately want to be your friends.

jerry and the red cellphone

It’s a very Century 21 concept — that to be liked, feel good about yourself, and be happy all you need is to own a cool object. It’s an excellent solution really, because it requires absolutely no effort on your part. Well apart from buying that cool something.

And please don’t think that I’m ragging out on Jerry here, because he is only copying what I as a parent teach  him every time I hand him a fancy cellphone so I can get back to blogging or becoming an awesome writer. Like Jerry’s theory of friendship, iPhone 6 Pluses make excellent babysitters because they require zero parenting effort.

a boy wearing bat mask in bed with teddy bear

Jerry and I have had so many raised voices over The Red. His obsession with always having it. My obsession with the super expensive thing not getting broken (and not having to shout 10 times to get him off Minecraft and cleaning his teeth). There has to be a happy medium where he has access to the technologies being used in school (and by all the kids of his generation) without it wiring his brain for addiction and anti-social behaviour.

Because factually, The Red is just a piece of melded sapphire glass, aluminium, graphite, cobalt et al. It is us humans who allow an object to define us, instead of looking for ways inside our own self to be better parents and better friends.


Blogging-U: This blog was prompted by the WordPress online course Writing: Shaping Your Story – 1.5 Consider using an object as a way “in” to the story.

The neatly arranged toys are usually left untouched if the red cellphone is anywhere within reach.
Parenting, ,

Written by Melinda J. Irvine

Melinda J. Irvine is a freelance writer, poet, and blogger — writing slick sales copy for clients from all over the world. And blogging poetry. In her spare time, Mel is busy building (and writing) a free online learning centre for the marginalised kids of Estancia, Philippines.

Leave a Reply