Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Root of All Evil.......

I bet you didn't know that the Bible doesn't actually say that money is the root of all evil.  Or maybe you did.  What is really says is that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.  That, however, was thousands of years ago.  I propose that today, there is a new love that is at the root of all evil.  I believe this from several years of observing my kids in action.  Money doesn't motivate them the way it should.  Parental failing?  Could be, there are many. Or it could be that they have a new love, one that's more like an addiction to be totally honest, that has supplanted the love of money.  

It is the love of the cell phone.

And it brings with it ALL MANNER OF EVIL!

Breakfast takes a lot longer to eat when you are engrossed 
in You Tube videos

Oh sure, you need money for a cell phone, but in that case, money is just a tool, as it should be.  The real love is the phone itself.  Especially a "smart" phone, which in our case means iPhones.  They are the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End of all things to my people. Unfortunately for them they have a mother who uses her wonderful gadget for exactly 3 things......Facebook, Candy Crush and making phone calls.  I hate trying to use it for anything else.  Its too small.  I like my computer and if I can at all get to it to look things up etc., I will.  I'm old like that.

My people are not old.  As a matter of fact, these darn things have been a way of life for them.  They don't know what it's like to exist in a world where everything isn't available for you instantly just by checking the device in your pocket.  Living like this has not done them any favors.

They will never know the problem of calling a friend and receiving no answer and figuring "oh well....guess I'll talk to them tomorrow at school."  No, these friends can be texted, and if that fails (horrors!) they are sure to call you back in a minute or two with a story that goes something like this..."I don't know!  For some reason my phone didn't ring???" Because it's important to provide a reason for why you were not instantly available!  

They don't know how to look things up in a book either.  It's something that has to be taught in schools now rather than something you learned because you had to in order to get by! No conversations lasting ages about who played BJ on the TV show M*A*S*H, or an hour long debate about who Woodrow Wilson's VP was.  Nope.  That can now be dispatched in seconds, the answers delivered to you by someone named Siri, who may have a lot of facts at her disposal, but sucks at directions.  Which is a shame, since they can't read a map either.  If she directs them 200 miles into the desert while they are looking for the nearest Starbucks, they will go.

Watching TV--note Thing 2 checking her phone

Then there are the apps.....Instagram, Snapchat, Kik.  This is where the evil truly lurks.  We had a snapchat incident this week that involved me calling some teenage trouble maker and explaining to her that I was NOT amused by her choice of photos and then dragging the school counselor into it because no one knows how to reach anyones parents anymore!

So, in our home, the phone has become a weapon.  MY weapon.  

The Mom giveth and the Mom taketh away.  Praise the Mom.

I do not have to ground my kids.  Without a phone, they are utterly paralyzed.  It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.  Oh, who am I kidding, it's really funny!  They are completely lost.  It's like if you just woke up one morning with a limb missing.  You are still alive and well, but you are now really slow and trying to make adjustments that seem impossible for the untrained.  They cant reach anyone because they don't know their phone number, they cant text, they have to try to figure out problems with only the information in their brains. They panic over the most ridiculous things...

"Mom, do you have any idea how many texts I probably have by now??"  

The Mom does not care about texts.

"Mom, how am I supposed to take pictures?"

The Mom does not care about pictures.

"Mom, how am I supposed to listen to my music??"

The Mom thinks your music is awful.  She will gladly loan you some 80's CD's though.

"Mom, I took a picture of the homework assignment on the board and I need it!"

Call a friend....ooops!  No number?  The Mom thinks it sucks to be you.

Mean? Maybe. But then a magical thing starts to happen.  Slowly but surely, they start to become real people again.  They have conversations.  With me.  They go places.  With me. (ok, I know its because they have nothing else to do but so what?)  They do things. Outside. The best part though, is that they actually become nicer.  They are more relaxed and more fun.  Life just seems all around better.  The constant barrage of all things, many of them negative, stops, and they can breathe and enjoy life again.

Of course, all good things must end.  After the appointed time for punishment of whatever infraction they committed has passed and after many discussions about how much better they are, their attitude is, blah, blah, blah, they get the phone back.  Its almost like a switch is flipped.  

Lucky for me, the next infraction is never far behind.

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