Isn’t it better to talk to people rather than your phone?
The world we live in is extremely fast-paced and instant gratification is a constant expectation.
Part of this is due to the great advancements in technology and the huge amount of computing power most of us carry in that little box tucked into our pockets. Cellphones are an essential, everyday item that most of us will never leave home without.
The advantages of having a smartphone are great. We can communicate with people around the world in many ways – a text, a call, a photo or even a video. We can purchase anything from clothing to groceries and have them delivered to our door steps even before we get home. Many of these things are great conveniences, but they come at a cost. Constantly looking at a phone limits our face-to-face interactions.
As a waitress, I frequently serve tables at which every member is focused on their little screen rather than visiting with one another. There are tables where I am ignored because the screen in their hands is deemed more entertaining than eating.
This might seem like heresy, but these situations can easily be fixed by creating some cellphone-free time; moments when we have zero tolerance for cell phones.
This will be very, very difficult, so, naturally there’s an app for that. Flipd automatically locks then unlocks your phone at specified times.
We could also create cellphone-free zones, similar to no-smoking areas. We are already to turn off our phones in church or in movie theaters, but it would be nice to expand the zones to, say, restaurants.
The advancement of communications technology has been important in many aspects of life, but with advancement has come dependence. The best way to overcome it? Carving out some time each day to interact with others, and not your phone.
Janell Martinez lives in Turlock, working two jobs; she will attend Stanislaus State in September. Comments firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeing single moms for the heroes they are
There are some really amazing single fathers out there – I see them praised for being heroes, as many completely deserve.
For some reason, there’s a double standard when it comes to single moms. In fact, single mothers are often demonized and blamed for many of society’s ills. It might be easier to solve some of those problems if we stopped seeing women raising children on their own as flawed or damaged.
“I really like all of the kids that my son plays with at school, except for one, who has a single mom,” says a colleague who obviously didn’t recall that she was talking to a single mom.
Said another, says “My husband is gone so much that I feel like I’m a single mom.”
But she’s not. Appreciate your spouse, because at the end of the day someone else is looking out for you and cares whether or not you make it home. (If he doesn’t, you’ve got other problems.)
For too many single moms, something must be sacrificed. If she works extra hours to earn enough money to provide the essentials – a decent home, reliable car, proper care for the kids – then she’s accused of not being around when there is a problem. If she spends more time at home but needs any form of public assistance, she’s accused of living off the system or being lazy. Her choices are stay at home and have less; or work harder and miss those important “firsts” and that fleeting time in which she can bond with her kids.
For too many women, there is little balance and no compromise.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and StatisticalAtlas.com show that nearly 32 percent of Stanislaus County children live in single-parent households, and those single parents are predominantly women. In fact, 17.9 percent of all families in Stanislaus County are headed by a woman, according to kidsdata.org. Yet, a 2010 Pew Research Center study found 69 percent of Americans believed the trend toward more single women having children was “bad” for society.
Single moms could use all sorts of help, from better government programs to family courts that better recognize their needs. But it starts by refusing to demonize women who find themselves in situations they never intended. It starts with seeing single moms as the heroes they are.
Jenilyn Dittman is a mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist and native Modestan. Comments: email@example.com
Visiting Editor Program
The Modesto Bee Visiting Editor program invites two community members to join our editorial board once a week. Visiting editors meet with the permanent members of the board to interview community newsmakers, political candidates and others of interest at our regular 2:30 p.m. meetings each Wednesday. Occasional additional meetings and field trips are added. Visiting editors serve three months and are encouraged to write up to three editorial comments on topics of local interest. If you are interested in becoming a visiting editor, or for more information, contact Opinions Page Editor Mike Dunbar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-578-2325.