Cellphones + Children

7:45am. Ok so I'm driving to work, and there's congestion at Palms and Overland, which leaves me waiting at the front of an intersection for a few minutes. So like most impatient people, I start fidgeting, watching people walk down the street, checking out people in the cars around me and making up stories about where they are going, what their life is like, etc.

Anyway this 12 year old girl begins to cross the street, right in front of my car, and I am suddenly perplexed. She's wearing an outfit of bubble gum pinks and baby blues, toting a plastic cartoony little backpack of similar colors, braids in her hair with pink clips at the end. She's smiling, walking to school...
She has a shiny white toy-looking thing held up to her face, chatting nonchalantly...this little monster is on her sidekick.

Call me old-fashioned, but what kind of 12 year old needs a cell phone, what more a side kick? It's preposterous. Who could she be talking to at 7:45am? Was she having a conference call with her boss? Was she strolling along casually mentioning to her parents some sort of state of emergency? Did she desperately need to talk to her little friend Sally who she's about to see in 5 minutes at school?

What the hell is going on in this world? Who let kids trade in their books for pda's? It's a total distraction from developing creativity. Relying on some electronic device to feed you images and sounds instead of forming them with your own imagination.

It's not even about safety. How many of us didn't have cell phones when we were 9 years old and are still alive today? I don't know of anyone who got kidnapped from my elementary school campus. Cuz we were right where we needed to be, and our parents really made sure of that. Technology has changed and advanced, yes. But the rest of shit hasn't. Kids still wake up and go to school for x amount of hours, parents go to work. At an agreed time and place in the day, parent and child will reconnect. What kind of lapse in communication and trust-building between parents and their children requires them to have a cell phone. Teach them right from wrong, and you won't need to put an electronic leash on your kids. They'll obey on their own.

And meanwhile, they won't have this destructive nuisance in their little impressionable hands. There are so many other distractions in the world, don't let this be one of them.

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