Chapter 5. Getting Buy-In

By my junior year of high school, I decided I needed a cellphone. Not only did nearly every one of my friends have one, they were no longer interested in having me use theirs to call my parents every time I needed to inform them of my whereabouts. With each text costing roughly 10 cents, and each call costing them precious minutes, I was dishing out dimes and quarters to nearly a half-dozen friends for months. Carrying a pocketful of change wherever I went, hoping I could borrow someone’s phone, was no longer my cup of tea.

Because my parents weren’t proponents of their daughter having a cellphone, convincing them to get one was going to be an uphill battle. “Everyone else has one” was not going to cut it. My parents would need to be presented with a strong set of evidence-backed arguments. So, I put some together. I formulated an argument around owning a cellphone for safety reasons. Having recently obtained my driver’s license, I needed to be able to call someone in case of an emergency. I calculated a rough estimate of the number of hours per week I spent driving to give the argument a bit more weight. Next, I compared device and plan costs, comparing these to the amount of money I’d distributed to friends over the last six months. I’d recently started building websites to make a bit of money on the side and knew I could afford to buy a basic flip phone and pay the monthly bill.

In response to my arguments, my parents said they didn’t think it was ...

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