Mommies on the Phone

Nowadays, there are very few things a smart phone cannot do. They are perhaps the ultimate scheduling device for the 21st century, and parents are taking full advantage of the organization they provide. However, some argue that phones may be becoming too addictive—and not just for teenagers. It’s difficult to ignore the little “ping” noise your phone makes when you’ve received an email, especially for working moms.  Are some mothers really sacrificing time with their children by using their phones?  Or are most moms just sending a few texts or emails while their kids play?

The argument against parents using their smart phones habitually is mainly that they are neglecting their kids to send out a tweet or make a Facebook update. There is even a “tumblog” dedicated to capturing “the culture of mobile phones and parental neglect” through pictures that readers post of parents blatantly ignoring their young child/children to focus on a phone. In response to this “tumblog,” TODAY Moms contributor Dana Macario says “are we [really] judging people based on a mere snapshot (literally) of their day?” In her article entitled, “Crib Note: Are Parents on Phones a Problem?” Macario argues in favor of parents looking away from their kids for a few minutes to look at their phones. “[If] these are parents who have bothered to take their kids to the park or the children’s museum, how much neglect can really be happening?” she says. “Maybe they just got an email that a loved one is in the hospital. Maybe they’re on Facebook inviting friends to join them at the park.”

Of course, there are times you can use your phone, and times that you certainly should not. Due to the increase in “distracted driving” incidents, laws have recently been put in place to limit phone usage while behind the wheel. To outline the subject of phone usage while driving, we’ve compiled a few statistics on the subject based off of the information displayed on textkills.com:

- Talking on a cell phone causes nearly 25% of car accidents.

- Texting while driving is about 6 times more likely to result in an accident than driving while intoxicated.

- The number of crashes and near-crashes linked to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.

- Studies have found that texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.

Parents must realize that they have much more to lose when their children are in the car with them. Making calls, sending emails, texting, etc. shouldn’t be done from behind the wheel of a car in general, but there is much more at stake when your toddler is napping in his car seat. It is clear that there are appropriate and inappropriate times for parents to focus on their phones, but the public seems to be split on exactly when is appropriate.

Do you think it’s okay to glance at your phone while the kids are playing? Is your attention always on your little ones? Tell us what you think!

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