When I was a kid, I was obsessed with video games. Sure, I loved talking and shooting the breeze with a close-knit group of people, but any type of athletic or communal play activities weren’t really my jam. Games were.
My parents, seeing my insatiable, years-long appetite for all the games I could get my hands on, thankfully made me play them in moderation. During the school year, I could only play them on the weekend and only after I finished any homework/projects that were due.
By the time I hit college, I wasn’t really into them that much anymore. Now, I have a PS4 in my home as a mere formality, every time I power it up when friends come over to play, I have to update the thing to actually start playing. It’s enough to make me want to do this:
But that doesn’t mean the danger for me to be addicted to another device isn’t there. I mean, it’s pretty much following me everywhere, in my pocket, and that’s my gosh-darn cell phone.
You know how it is – unless you disable notifications for certain apps your phone is constantly buzzing – between group texts, facebook posts, Instagram alerts, tweet replies, and web browsing, it’s very easy for your phone to consume your life. In fact, the average human being spends 5 hours a day using their cell phone.
Being so absorbed in a device unfortunately does some harm to the relationships with people you’re interacting with on a daily basis IRL, especially those who aren’t so engaged in their personal mobile devices, or don’t own a smartphone themselves, like children.
Probably because they’re not so obsessed in sticking to someone in the comments section on an asinine Facebook post, children pick up on their parents’ cell phone addictions. Don’t believe me? Then look at these essay prompts from second graders who were given a writing prompt by their teacher: “Tell me about an invention that you don’t like. Why?”
Four students independently wrote that they wished the cell phone was never invented because of the inordinate amount of time their parents spend glaring into their glowing slabs instead of interacting with them.
Teacher Jen Adams Beason posted a photo of one of the prompts in a now-private Facebook post that was shared over 250,000 times:
Tell me about an invention that you don’t like. Why?
If I had to tell you what invention I don’t like I would say I don’t like the phone. I don’t like the phone because my panert 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 I don’t like.
Beason accompanied her post with this sad caption:
“I had my 2nd graders write about an invention they wish had never been created. Out of 21 students, 4 of them wrote about this topic :'( #getoffyourphone #listentoyourkids”
Unfortunately, Beason’s classroom isn’t the only place where children expressed that their parents neglected them in favor of checking out their cell phones.
“We had a class discussion about Facebook and every single one of the students said their parents spend more time on FB then they do talking to their child. It was very eye opening for me,” Abbey Fauntleroy said in the comments section.
What’s really troublesome is that there’s a direct correlation between children’s behavioral problems and the neglect they suffer from their parents at the hand of technology. Kids are more likely to act out if their interactions with parents are constantly interrupted by cell phones, tablets, TV shows, laptops, etc.
There’s been a rallying cry against parents ignoring their children in favor of cell phones popping up all over social media.
Like this paper posted at a day care that Juliana Mazurkewicz noticed when she was picking up her child.
“You are picking up your child!
GET OFF YOUR PHONE!!!!
Your child is happy to see you! Are you happy to see your child??
We have seen children trying to hand their parents their work they completed and the parent is on the phone. We have heard a child say “Mommy, mommy, mommy…” and the parent is paying more attention to their phone than their own child. It is appalling.
Get off your phone!!”
The post received over 2 million shares to date with people “YASSING” all over the place in the comments section, as well as waxing nostalgically about the past.
Some pointed out that a little bit goes a long way.
What do you think? Are parents neglecting their kids in favor of double-tapping Instagrams becoming an epidemic? Or is it blown way out of proportion? I tend to lean towards the former just because I know how addicted I am to my cell phone: I leave it in my car or another room when I hang out with my family.