One of my college kids called me the other night. Well actually she text-ed me. Because that is what kids do today. When they have a complex question that involves a response that could exceed 100 words, they of course text. My standard response when this happens…”call me”.
So the phone call shortly arrived. The whole purpose for this communication involved a certain movie streaming application that her new television came with last summer. She has been enjoying this application with no charge associated. She thought Dad had set it up but I had not. So, all I can figure is there was some type of free introductory period. The freebie had now ended and daughter was hoping that Dad would either provide his log in to this program, or a credit card so this right of college life could continue.
Matters like this are better not to hit me with at 10pm at night. I understand just enough about business to know that no company has set up a video streaming app that all one person needs to do is share their password with their college student and pretty soon an entire dorm is streaming movies on your account. I was not entirely sure how the business model worked, and daughter swore she would keep my login secret (I really believe she would do her best to keep it secret), but I was not buying it. I enjoy the service, we use it at home, and the last thing I wanted was to get our home blocked because my password was also being used at a college campus not exactly in the same location as my home. I thought maybe there was a usage model that might solve this issue but as my tired head tried to figure out a solution at the company’s website, the solution hit me.
The solution was so obvious frankly I got a little upset at myself for not having immediately thought of this. Our goal is for our kids to come out of college debt-free. So, we cover tuition, room and board and books. Social items are on the kids so they need to work whenever they can to pay for their social and entertainment. Same program I was on with my parents and I am forever thankful to them for not forcing me into the world of student loans. I was not handing over my log in information, so this problem was not mine. Clearly an entertainment issue…this was daughter’s to decide. Plus in my research I found out the cost of an unlimited plan was less than two grande lattes at Starbucks! We know how often college kids make that pit stop! (To daughter’s credit, she called me later and apologized for expecting me to handle this expense-much appreciated.)
Which brings me to the end of the story but I just could not stop thinking about this. What a world we live in! For $8 a month, you can have unlimited movies streaming into your college room. My first memory was that we had a small black and white TV in my college room and we hardly could watch it through the snow on the screen as we strained to pick up stations 75 miles away! We did buy record albums (kids-ask your parents what they are) and I remember those being about $6 each. One album with 40 minutes of music, 35 years ago, cost more than the limited plan for the movie streaming application! If they sold albums today they probably would be $15! College kids in the 70′s collected record albums like the Harbaugh family collects coaching victories. Our kids have no idea how great life is for them.
Of course, I sure hope they find some time to study!