Below are some of my favorite
"smart phone free" BJJTV moments.
At one of our last pep assemblies, I scanned the gym and took many mental notes. From students playing video games and streaming shows on Netflix, the majority had one thing in common: they clearly didn't care about our students who were running for Student Council or competing in spring sports. I compared it to what used to be the "norm" at WHS pep assemblies in the (not-so-distant) past, and was heartbroken.
I miss the days that so many kids were running for Student Council office there was an actual assembly to hear all the candidates speeches. Running "unopposed" wasn't "a thing" back then.
Oh, how I miss actually hearing the silence while kids LISTENED to the students announcing the athletes and then loud roars of cheers once they were finished talking. The clapping, cheering, and general happy feeling in the Big Blue Jay gym warmed my heart and reminded me of my own high school days as a Eugene Eagle.
What's happened? Why are teens more interested in Netflix or Snapchat than the real world that is right in front of them? I must be getting old, because I just don't understand. I also enjoy some escapism via social media or Netflix, but not at the expense of missing out on what could be an enjoyable experience.
I think back to when cell phones were becoming a "thing" in the not-so-distant past. I was on a trip with kids in California for a journalism convention. We were sightseeing on one of those fun tour buses with a guide who had attitude. Once we completed the tour, we were comparing our photos (on our cameras NOT our phones) and one girl was LIVID with all of us.
"The HOLLYWOOD SIGN!? We drove past THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN!? Why didn't you tell me!?" She was screaming at the group.
Before I could speak up, another girl responded calmly, "I did. I tried to tell you several times about all the things you were missing because you were in WashMO and not here with us."
This left us all a bit confused, until she added, "I saw you texting your boyfriend the whole time instead of being HERE with us in California."
The anger and confusion subsided. I noticed a marked change in the flip phone texter. She put down her new device and pulled out her digital camera to be in the moment with us for the next phase of the day's events. She realized that the reality she was missing wasn't worth ditching for escapism on a digital device. You see, even back then those flip phones were enticing. So much so, she missed seeing a landmark she'd been dying to view.
I don't care if it's a flip phone or an iPhone. I don't care if it's a pep assembly or the Hollywood sign. Be in the moment, Blue Jays. A lot of this "reality" you are escaping or avoiding will not repeat itself. Remember what my friend Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Starting year 25 as a Journalism educator. Photographer. Mom. Nature-Junkie. Super Fan of Missouri State Parks and Conservation Lands. As a wise BJJTV alumni says, "Treat People Like People."