FROM A TEACHER: Yesterday, I shut down class about 5 minutes early and told my students I wanted them to just sit and talk to one another. Several of them immediately opened their laptops and began navigating to their favorite computer game.
I said, “No, no laptops. I want you to have face-to-face conversations right now.”
After a collective groan went up, I observed something both wonderful and alarming. For the next few minutes, a couple of tables came alive with conversation. They looked at each other in the eyes and talked with great enthusiasm and interest. It was beautiful to watch and listen to.
However, many students were deflated. They did not know what to do without some sort of entertainment from a device. A couple of them put their heads down and avoided eye contact with anyone. I went around the room to those students and tried to engage with them. Some of them mustered a few words, but most didn’t know what to do.
I share this story as a wakeup call for parents, grandparents, and guardians. It’s tragic to me that a large percentage of today’s youth do not know how to have real conversation, but it’s not their fault. It is our responsibility as adults to lead by example and hold our kids accountable. Unplug every day, talk, and listen to your children. Getting lost in a device does not help them cope with and overcome the things they’re going through mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. All it causes is isolation and depression. They need relationships; they need you.