Cell Phones, the technology that has changed us

There was a time when you left your house and no one could get a hold of you all day long. This was a good thing and a bad thing. If someone was in trouble or in need you were not readily available. When cell phones became popular this all changed. If that wasn’t bad enough, now you have preoccupied drivers using cell phones that you have to contend with.  It used to be that you only had to watch out for drivers eating, putting on makeup, and reading while driving but now its texting and driving and calling and driving.

It is a fact that more teenagers die texting and driving than by drunk driving accidents.

text and driving

Here are a few more statistics that will blow your mind.

  • 1.6 million crashes happen every year that are caused by people using their cell phone
  • 11 teens die each day
  • Your attention is taken away for a minimum of 5 seconds while you are texting and driving
  • If you are driving at 55 mph that means that you will travel the length of a football field without looking at the road
  • Texting makes you 23x more likely to crash
  • Dialing 2.8x more likely to crash
  • Talking or listening on the phone 1.3x likely to crash
  • Reaching for your phone 1.4x more likely to crash
  • 77% of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving

And while these statistics may be shocking and you may be thinking “I can’t believe this! Well, this isn’t my child.” Consider this next statistics and honestly ask yourself if your child has witnessed this and see what kind of example you are setting.

  • 48% of children state that they have seen their parents text while driving

But it doesn’t stop at drivers. Pedestrians also cause problems when using their cell phones. Mainly they do not pay attention where they are walking.

How many times have you been walking and someone bumped into you that was texting, talking on their phone or surfing the net?

  • Pedestrians are 4x less likely to pay attention to traffic because of using their cell phones.
  • It has also been found that they take an average of two seconds longer to cross the street.

This all pertains to safety. But it all stems from our need to stay connected to our Facebook’s, Twitters, Instagram, Texting and ability to call anyone at any time.

cell phones have changed relationships

No one, not our children and a lot of the time not even we can seem to disconnect from our online lives. When you walk into a restaurant or house and watch a family interact you notice that they don’t interact. Everyone is on a cell phone. Playing games, texting, Facebooking….or doing whatever. It is sad what we have become. What are we going to become in the future?

Dinner time was once spent learning about what we did that day and they are now replaced with pings associated with new messages. Instead of making memories we are filling our time with emptiness.

This is where we have gone to. We have gotten lazy. As parents, we do not want to engage our children. It is easier to let them be entertained and occupied by this little electronic device than for us to have to actually be parents.

Yes, we are tired after a long day.

Yes, there is housework to be done.

Yes, our favorite show is on.

However, one day they will be grown and do you really want the memories they have of you to be one of silence? They will take your example of how to parent from you. Is that how you want your grandchildren to be raised?

Cell phones are a fantastic lifeline, but they are also a hindrance. As with any technology, they need to be used responsibility. It is our jobs as parents to be the ones to show our children how to be responsible with their cell phones.

It is time to take our lives back and to show our children that they mean more to us than our online lives and our time should really be spent. Be a good example.