i’m moving but i’m still blogging
There was an interesting article in the NYTimes today about a middle school experiment. Kids at Riverdale were asked to refrain from texting for a few days to see if they could and to also think about what life would be like without it.
There are a few things that I came away with after reading the article. The first one was that when I was growing up, in the evening, instead of facebook or text messaging my friends, I spent hours on the phone. Hours. Perhaps a different medium but it wasn't as if I was sitting at home by candlelight with no form of media to engage with and ability to connect with my friends. Although there may be some disdain from parents or teachers in regards to the text/instant communication it is just a different era.
The other thing that I zeroed in on was how often, during the school day, the kids texted their parents. One kid said at least 10 times during the day. When they got tests back, etc. I don't understand why the kids are not told to turn off their phones once they enter the school (particularly middle school where there is still teacher control) and not turn them back on until school is over. In our kids school when they are found doing something with their phone during the school hours, it is taken away until the end of the day.
Although I do applaud Riverdales efforts in showing kids that they can survive without texting and to make fun perhaps that they aren't addicted to it, I am not sure what the lesson is. At least it is lost on me. Is it the same concept as no TV week? Isn't it more to the point to engage the kids in conversation about transparency on the web, manners on text, putting their phones away in school or any meeting, or just talking about how we live in a world of instant communication.
Just my 2 cents but when every kids parents are using devices in their day to day life too, what's the point of going cold turkey when it is the way we live today. On vacation, perhaps but during the regular business hours – that includes school. The lesson to be taught is how to behave in the world we live today while still having integrity, manners and etiquette.