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Scoot: Might as well face it, you're addicted to phones

Today’s adult generation loves to criticize teenagers for their behavior, but adults are not exactly setting a good example.

I hear people say that “teenagers are not responsible! Teens text while driving! Teens don’t communicate anymore! They are addicted to their phones and computers!”  Ever hear yourself think any of those things about teenagers today?

A new study indicates that adults also show signs of addiction to their phones and computers.  Researchers at Boston Medical Center observed people in actual settings, and discovered that parents are spending time on their cell phones while their children are eating.

According to the researcher, 73% of adults spent time on their phones while their children were eating at a fast-food restaurant.  While preoccupied on their cell phones, the adults paid little or no attention to their children, and the children at the tables where parent focused on their cell phones tended to misbehave more than other children.  Furthermore, when parents who were preoccupied with their phones did respond to their children – it was usually negative.

About 1 out of 3 parents used their cell phones continuously through the meal, and about 15% did not begin to use their phones until they had finished eating, and then they used their phones while the children were still eating.  Observers concluded that the parents finished eating and started using their cell phone because they appeared to be bored.  If you are a parent and with your children eating out and you are bored after you finish your meal – there’s a problem – and it’s not with your children!

Have you seen parents in a restaurant or any public setting with their children and they are constantly focused on their cell phone – talking, texting or checking emails or Facebook and not paying attention to their children?  It is an all too common sight.

Parents criticize teenagers for spending too much time on their cell phones, and they attribute this to teenagers’ growing lack of communication skills.  I suggest that parents and adults, in general, are not much better than teenagers when it comes to being addicted to their cell phones.

When you pick your children up from school, a friend’s house or from your ex – are you on the phone?  If your kids have been away from you for a short period of time or an extended period of time that first moment you are with them should be totally focused on them – not your phone.  

Often children want and need their parent’s attention at home, but talking to the person you are having a relationship with or a friend or working on something for you becomes the priority.  And we wonder why a young generation is growing up so differently!

Criticizing teens for texting while driving is hypocritical too, because there are still too many adults who are doing the exact same thing and there is no significant difference.

We live in a society that has come to accept blaming someone or something else for the problems of a young generation, when we adults need to look at ourselves and realize that we are not always setting a good example and often their negative tendencies are actually our fault.  That’s hard to admit – but it’s true.

Your kids are watching you spend too much time on your cell phone texting and driving, drinking and driving and doing many of the things you criticize them for doing and that is hypocritical and unfair to a young generation.

There will also be things that adults can do because they are adults.  Drinking, and behavior that is restricted based on age are appropriate for adults to do in front of their children with the simple explanation that some things are just for adults, but when it comes to drinking and driving, texting and driving or other illegal and dangerous behavior – parents should not expect their children to respect what they tell them if they are doing the same things.

Are you really much less addicted to your cell phone than today’s teenage generation?  Think about how you felt the last time you forgot your phone?  Did you feel alone – isolated – missing something critical to your life?  Adults often condemn a young generation’s dependence on their phones.  Are you any different?  I doubt that you would be any less devastated than a teenager today if you lost your phone and all of the information it holds.

I realize that setting a good example for a young generation is not easy because it means we have to act like adults.  

So, before you are quick to criticize the behavior of teenagers today – take a long look in the mirror. And let's be honest - if we would have had today's cell phones, tablets and computers when we were teenagers - we would be just as bad!

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03/12/2014 12:29PM
Scoot: Might as well face it, you're addicted to phones
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03/12/2014 7:14PM
Until the end of time
learn more about the bible watch ewtn and download bible on your phone
03/13/2014 10:59PM
Happy, joyous and free
It's great to not be controlled by a cell phone, television or some other inanimate object and really experience life to the fullest.
03/14/2014 11:43PM
Ma many adults act like children texting email Facebook instead of quality time with their children
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