"I wish she never had one"
We live in a tech-centric world, and by the way things are moving, technology will only become more essential to our everyday lives as time moves on.
Throughout history, the human race has separated itself from other species not only because of how we are able to think and communicate, but also largely because our ability to create and use tools. In many ways, the tools we use become extensions of our being: the pens we use to write, the machines that transport us, the cranes and power tools we use to build, even the technology that helps us to survive in conditions that would otherwise be inhospitable. If you only communicate with certain people on the phone or via the internet, where does the real you end and the digital you begin?
Today, the most common tool that most of us use as if it were another limb is our smart phone. For many, even imagining a day without your phone may seem inconceivable. In fact, you are likely reading this on your cell phone right now. But what are the downsides to being on your phone all the time? Sure, there are all the potential health concerns you’ve probably read some clickbait about, but what about the interpersonal consequences? One second grader’s response to a simple school assignment may have you rethinking how you use your phone.
It’s safe to say that the classroom was likely a very different place back when you or I were in elementary school compared to what it is today. Schools that are lucky enough to have the budget for it and access to it are decked with convenient technology, from white boards and built-in projectors to a personal tablet or laptop for every student. That sure puts copy machines and mimeographs to shame!
Kids today grow up as digital natives, many of them first experiencing smart phones and tablets in very early childhood. Parents today have to dictate when their children are allowed to have “screen time” and when they must occupy themselves with other activities. But it’s no surprise that more often that not, it’s easier to sit a kid in front of a screen so that everyone can get a little peace around the house. Hey, adults are guilty of it to, what with streaming and bingewatching TV or movies, not to mention the hours we pass on our phones.
But what affect does this have on young children observing how tech-obsessed the world can be?
“I hate my mom’s phone”
Second grade teacher Jen Beason from Louisiana gave her students a writing prompt earlier this month that dealt directly with today’s tech problem: “Tell me about an invention that you don’t like. Why?”
What would you say? Perhaps it’s something that pollutes the environment or is solely used for war or destruction. Now what do you think a second grader would say? As it turns out, some of the responses Beason received were much more poignant than she was expecting. Here’s what one student had to say:
“If I had to tell you what invention I don’t like I would say that I don’t like the phone. I don’t like the phone because my [parents] are on their phone every day. A phone is sometimes a really bad [habit]. I hate my mom’s phone and I wish she never had one. That is [an] invention that I don’t like.”
Wow. Sometimes it takes the most innocent among us to point out these kinds of things.
This particular response stood out to Jen Beason so much she decided to share it to her Facebook page, where it went on to receive hundreds of thousands of likes, shares, and comments. Many of these comments lauded the student’s ability to so simply express their disdain for the phones that occupy their parents’ time and attention, others expressed remorse at being guilty of doing the same thing.
Worst of all, Beason wrote that “out of 21 students, 4 of them wrote about this topic #getoffyourphone #listentoyourkids.”
Do you think you’re spending too much time on your phone? SHARE this post with a parent and let us know what you think!