It pays to pay attention. Earlier this month, Michigan seventh grader Dillon Reeves saved the lives of 60 students when he drove his school bus to safety. When the driver of the bus lost consciousness, most of the other students didn’t notice because they were on their phones. Dillon doesn’t have a phone, so he noticed when the bus started drifting and jumped into action.
The pressure to get smartphones for kids and let them access social media apps is incredible today. Almost 3 in 4 American youth own smartphones by age 12, and 84% of teens 13 to 18 use social media. Today’s teens average about 9 hours a day on screens.
The dangers of digital distraction are well documented: body image issues, sleep deprivation, pornography addiction, even suicidality. In the case of the Michigan school bus, kids would’ve lost their lives if Dillon had been distracted.
To quote Dillon’s dad, let’s hope that his son’s heroics will serve as “a change-the-world kind of lesson.”
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