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Heartbroken 2nd Graders Explain Why They Wish 'Mommy's Phones' Weren't Invented

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When prolific novelist Stephen King wrote his 2006 novel “Cell,” he centered it around a singular striking idea: What would happen if mobile phones started corrupting users’ minds?

King himself noted in the book’s introduction that he doesn’t use cell phones, and though more than a decade has passed since its publication, his caution seems even more applicable. Just ask the kids in Louisiana second-grade teacher Jen Beason’s class.

Beason had decided to task the children with a simple assignment. They were supposed to write about an invention they wish had never been invented.

Perhaps Beason expected most of her 21 students to write about firearms or internal combustion or Justin Bieber’s music. Instead, four of them named the exact same thing: the smartphone.

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“I don’t like the phone because my parents are on it every day,” one child wrote. “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.”

Experts like to harp about how much time young children spend on electronic devices. For instance, statistics show that children ages eight and younger are exposed to screens an average of nearly two-and-a-half hours per day.

Yet we’ve often ignored an equally troubling truth: Adults set an example for little ones about how much screen time they should enjoy, and too many of us are addicted to our mobile devices.

Consider Rob Thubron, a writer for Techspot who shattered his Galaxy S7 Edge by accidentally dropping it and went nearly a month and a half without a phone.

Initially, he struggled to acclimate to life without instant social media access, going so far as to report experiencing phantom vibration syndrome (the feeling that your phone is ringing when it actually isn’t).

By the end of his phoneless time, though, his perspective had shifted.

“I know that going without a smartphone for nearly one and a half months … is a pain and something I wouldn’t recommend, but I did get used to it after the first couple of weeks,” he said.

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“Mobile devices don’t have such a hold on us that we simply can’t cope without them. … The experience did show me just how much time we spend gazing at our phones.”

There are other reasons, too, namely the little lives that cluster around us at the dinner table. They deserve our attention, and given that 95 percent of homes with children have smartphones under their roofs, perhaps it’s time to turn them off and focus on what’s really important.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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