I am not the type of person to easily get down, but lately, news headlines have been so heavy, it is difficult not to allow them to steal my joy. I actually was deep in thought the day this post was due wondering what to say to the women of San Antonio when a story caught my attention. A 13 year old girl had died while trying to rescue her cell phone from a subway train track. She did not get off the track in time before the train took her life.
Of course, this story follows days of reporting on the tragic car accident which took the lives of thirteen church choir members from the First Baptist Church in New Braunfels. Though not confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the young driver of a truck which struck the church bus allegedly confessed to driving while texting. The twenty-year-old driver is alive, though his life is forever changed. I have to wonder then, readers….how important to you is your relationship with your phone? Is it impossible to put it down and thus impossible for your children to put them down? Do you panic if you realize you left it at home after arriving at work?
Before joining the magazine, I taught journalism for sixteen years in a local high school. One of the biggest challenges for teachers today are cell phones. Perhaps a school will not allow them in the classroom, but I am here to confirm it is almost impossible to teach students who have been up most of the night on their phones. Fatigue diminishes significantly the ability to learn and understand. Of course, another issue is many phones have become weapons for bullies or predators even during the school day.
Why are we, as adults, not teaching children how to put down a phone? Is it not appropriate any longer to take it up at night? Why are young people willing to die or take the chance of killing others for a phone?
One day I sat outside at a lovely coffee shop, and people-watched (one of my favorite past times). The majority of people walking by, on a beautiful spring day, had their heads buried in a phone. It is so sad, because life goes too quickly to spend it in an app. Parenting 101 needs to include a session on how to build a healthy relationship between your child and their phone. Their lives just may depend on it.
San Antonio Woman Editor