Having a teenager I have witnessed the quality time they spend together, nothing like when I used to hang out with my friends. Now days they sit next to one another on their phones. Little to no conversation and if there is one it’s to share some silly meme they’ve seen on social media or take a billion selfies with bunny ears. They have at least one earbud in listening to their music and their response when you talk to them, if you get a response is; “What? I didn’t hear you.” Oh, I hate that….pay attention when I’m speaking to you, young lady.
Kids walking down the side of the road paying no attention to their surroundings, staring at their phone, If there were a pink elephant standing in front of them they’d run right into it. With earbuds in they wouldn’t hear a car coming towards them or some pedophile sneaking up on them. I’ve discussed the dangers of this with my daughter so at least I’ve gotten her down to only one earbud, but still..taking her away from her phone, sometimes not always, is like taking away a piece of her soul. I only agreed to letting her get one in the first place when she was stranded at the bus stop for 45 minutes waiting for her dad to pick her up in the snow with no way to contact him.
Instead of children stepping in to help in situations of bullying, they stand around and record it. It blows my mind why there are so many videos of this happening on social media and it’s not just teenagers, its some adults as well. Put the phone down and help!!! We have become a society that relies too much on our cell phones, far too addicted to social media and far less concerned with what is currently going on around us and how we can help.
When I was a teenager we spent time riding bikes, recording music off the radio, going to football games and actually watching them, roller skating, even going and having coffee at a local coffee shop sitting and talking about how being a teenager sucked and we couldn’t wait to grow up. We did each others make-up and watched movies together. Now you can walking into a restaurant and see a table full of teenagers and every one of them is staring at their phone.
We’ve made it a rule in our house that on family date nights, no phones allowed. We might take a family selfie, but then our phone are left at home while we go out to enjoy dinner and a movie. If I want quality time with my daughter I plan a painting session with her or some sort of activity that we can both enjoy together, no phones. One of the best times I have had with my family was 5 days of camping with no phones. It truly was the best vacation we had had in years.
We have to have in depth conversations when they get their drivers license about texting and driving…(I am guilty of it, we all are at some point), but a brand new driver needs to truly understand the danger it could cause. Even the schools have mock accidents to show them what could happen. We never had those when I was in school. We never needed them. We might have been shown a video on drunk drivers but that was the extent.
Then there’s the false news that is spread like wild fire through social media. I’m going to quote one of my favorite memes of all time, “If it’s on the internet, it must be true.” ~Abraham Lincoln. Too many people take what they read as fact without research and share it like it will save the world. (Again, we’ve all done it) however I truly try to research my facts before sharing news that I read off anything on the internet. Even actual new channels have become untrustworthy when it comes to the news, we have to question and research everything.
God forbid you have some sort of ailment and if you do, don’t freaking Google it. You’ll be convinced you’re dying of some rare disease. Instead of how it was 30 years ago when we called the Dr. to make an appointment we search the internet for home remedies for something we’re not even sure we have. Literally relying far too much on the internet for information and answers. You have a question? Google it, You’re not the first person to ask that question…. I miss the days of going to the library to research information. Hell, I miss the the Dewey Decimal System.
I spend a lot of time alone and use my phone simply because I’m bored or I’m blogging, or I’m checking in on family members, but when my family is together I put my phone away unless something major comes up. We have to remember that life is short and ask ourselves if we really want to be spending it on our phones or the computer. And in my opinion, as parents, we need to be setting boundaries and limiting the amount of time our children are spending on them as well. Give them a glimpse of what our childhood was like without it and how much fun we managed to have.
I’m interested in what rules other parents have regarding their children with cell phones?
Spread Your Wings,