High Schoolers Face 'Withdrawal Symptoms' & 'Confusion' After Going Without Cell Phone, Computer, Or iPod For 10 Days

Posted: May 18, 2009 1:44 PM

From the story: "I just thought it was too much for me to handle," said Tim, of Carmel, Ind. "I love my Internet. I love my phone. I'm not ashamed to say it."

I can't believe how many kids today are incapable of hanging with their friends or family without having an iPod, cell phone, or DVD player in tow: two friends walking together at the mall, one listening to his/her iPod; kids eating dinner at a restaurant with their family, one is texting and the other is talking to a friend (important call, I'm sure); child in the car seat going on a 20 minute drive with Mom -- time to put in their favorite Disney movie. 

On today’s Today show, they ran an experiment with five high schoolers: 10 days without tech gadgets (cell phones, computers, iPods). The results were pathetic, embarrassing, sad, and telling; results ranged from “withdrawal symptoms” to “confusion”; no wonder, the average monthly text message count ran the gamut: from a low 14,000 to a high score of 17,500.

Like President Obama’s invitation to deliver Notre Dame’s Commencement Address, we must ask, “Who is most responsible for this predicament?” As much as I want to point the finger at these kids – and I do – my first finger-point is headed towards the parents. It’s not hard to talk to your child instead of throwing in a movie during that car ride, nor is it difficult to mandate a “No Cell Phone or iPod” policy when the family is together. The truth is, it is probably easier for parents to have their kids distracted with tech gadgets than devote the time, energy, and creativity needed to engage in their child’s lives.