It’s sad and disturbing that a teen is being sent to jail due to texting because he killed someone while texting while driving. It’s the right decision by the court and the only decision given our always connected lives. While people refuse to turn off technology and put down those phones, what other decision could the judge have made?
We have lost perspective. We are too distracted. We have forgotten that cell phones are useful tools to keep us connected to people, places and time but that sometimes we have to disconnect and disengage from those tools to operate other tools – such as moving cars.
No sooner did the landmark texting case get decided in Massachusetts than two important surveys on just how distracted our teens our were released.
How do we help our teens curtail their need to constantly text ?
First, we look in the mirror. They are learning this from us. The more we cheat and text, check email and scores in our cars, the more they will peer at their phones and say to themselves “well, just this ones…after all, mom and dad do it on occasion.”
Second, we talk our teens about the reality of distracted driving. We tell them the facts and explain the consequences based on this week’s news and studies.
Finally, we admit that we, too, have become way too carried away with technology and are not asking them to do anything that we are not willing to do. Then, we make a family pact to end our contribution to distracted driving by keeping our cellphones off and out of reach while in the driver’s seat. Not only will the world not stop spinning if we’re a bit less reachable, but our roads will be a heck of a lot safer.