I believe it is incredible how a thread of thought can link from one person to another and mysteriously link to other thoughts around the world and suddenly that small nagging thing you were thinking about is everywhere all at the same time. I am not naive enough to think that the world wide web doesn’t have something to do with it, however, when there is nothing out there and the thing comes back around like a boomerang that is another story.
Any one of you who reads this was once a teenager who thought you were invincible at some point in your early years. You may be the parent of one or more teenagers right now who do things that to an adult seem ridiculous, but to that teen with the mindset that they are impervious to injury, or accident, or failing this possibility does not exist.
Then the unthinkable happens; the teen gets a real dose of reality and the mindset is immediately replaced with another one. All over the media the past few weeks has been an uptick in the magnification of “how technology is changing our lives from a younger and younger age and the consequences that come with those choices in technology.” There has been an emphasis with distraction and driving when we are on our cell phones or we are texting. The launch of the new organization of mothers against texting and driving has sparked a new resurgence. There are a few states where talking on a cell phone and texting while driving carry a hefty fine but those are few and far between. Even in the states where this is the law, people just pay the fine and do not change their habits. Even walking and texting is dangerous. The statistics for ER visits due to those who were injured bad enough to have medical treatment, didn’t seem to matter. The behavior continued.
The second part of this piece has to do with what is the appropriate age to let your children begin to use this technology. This of course goes directly to parenting style and the maturity of the child involved.
I watched this morning as a news crew video taped pedestrians walking and texting and crossing a very busy city street and several were within inches of being hit while crossing when the do not cross sign was lit. After being showed the video of their almost demise, every one of them just shrugged it off and said no big deal (while continuing to text). What is so important that the texter cannot look away?
What will a teenager miss if she or he does not hang out at the mall, all day this Saturday? No one is immune. We all get into these places where it seems easier to just cave in than, stand on reason, principle, and what is best for the child. I am a big believer in the life of a child when they become responsible for their own thoughts and actions. Just because they can do something doesn’t mean they should do that thing. The same is true for parents.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. This goes to the fundamental building blocks that make up who we are at our core, in other words our character. How solid is yours? What about your child’s foundational building blocks? What are you teaching them today? What are you modeling before them right now?
Take a good look at all of your behaviors in your life right now. Are you in the car looking at your phone and the RSS feed? Shame on you.
If for one split second you are distracted and you caused the death of another, how would your life change forever?
What if that life was the 8 year old sitting directly behind you?
If you are blowing this off, then you are one of the ones I am talking about. Nothing on earth is that important. Period.
What holds your attention so steadfastly today?