Do Cell Phones Make Our Kids Safer?
We live in a worried society. We worry about everything — real and imagined — and we go out of our way to protect ourselves against these dangers. But in overhearing a parent at the mall say to her daughter, “And keep your cell phone on in case something happens,” I wondered: do cell phones make our kids safer?
Ages ago I watched an Oprah show about a college student who was assaulted on her way through a campus forest after a party. She said that she thought she was safe because she had her cell with her, but the moment she got off the phone, her attacker jumped her and tossed the cell in the woods. With her safety net gone, she had to fend him off unprepared. (Which, thankfully, she did, but who wants that experience for their daughter??)
I think the important question we as parents need to ask ourselves is: would I let my child do (fill in the blank) if he did NOT have a cell phone? That should be the criteria we use to determine what we’re comfortable with and what we’re not. Because at the end of the day, I’m not yet convinced that cell phones are the adolescent safety tools we wish they were.