From August 4, 2009
I saw an interesting sign at the local service station, which uses it’s signboard to motivate travelers who pass by. The quote, by Joe Bob Briggs, said, “Apparently we love our own cell phones but we hate everyone else’s.”
We are annoyed when someone we are with spends “our” afternoon together texting others. We are bothered by the person standing in line at the bank carrying on a phone conversation as if she was the only person in the room. We watch the car in front of us swerve back and forth, only to pass him as he chats on his cell phone. We cannot believe that someone would sit in a restaurant and carry on a full voiced conversation on their phone!
Yes, these are the phone manners that we are displaying to our children! In wanting them to develop appropriate social skills, both on and off the cell phone, we forget that these are the examples that we set each and every day!
When did the need for such an immediate response begin to dictate our lives? What could possibly be so important that it cannot wait for a private, secluded, uninterrupted moment? We are demonstrating to our children that immediate gratification and skewed priorities are the driving forces of our lives. Our children actually worry that their friends will get mad at them if they do not respond immediately to a text!
Let’s all take a good look at ourselves. It’s time to make some changes. If we want to teach our children to nurture their friendships and family relationships, we need to let the phone rest! If you want to have a phone conversation while driving, use a hands free device and speak-to-dial feature. Don’t think you are that one great driver that can read a text, send a text, and be focused on the road. Nevermind that it's ILLEGAL! If you’re at the dinner table with family or friends and your phone goes off, only check it if you are in a profession that requires your 24/7 attention or if your children are out and might need you. Only answer it if it is one of those emergency calls. Spare the store clerk, bank teller, and fellow restaurateurs from your disagreement with your boss, spouse or friend. Let’s show our children that technology is great, but it is not in control – we are!