A Good Idea?

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Remember when people used to talk to each other? While technology may be a wonderful thing, it has created a generation of people who either do not want to or can't interact with each other because they simply don't know how. I don't know how many times I've been out in public and have witnessed groups of young people sitting together texting away on their phones instead of engaging each other in conversation and laughing out loud instead of texting "lol". What have we become? Do we no longer need human contact? Do we no longer need to gaze into each other's eyes?

When my children were young occasionally we would have no television/ computer/videogame days and yes, at first it caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth, but it didn't take long for the family to adjust to those days of intimate bonding. We played board games. We played cards. We played outside. We went to the beach. We found other things to do, but more importantly whatever we decided to do we did it TOGETHER.

My daughter, as an adult made a decision not to ever get cable or satellite television . When my grandson was young the first thing he would do whenever he would come for a visit was to find the cartoon network. What a treat that was for him. Yes, he played video games and had a computer, but he didn't spend countless hours watching television. In fact, in later years when I would mention some television show on TV that I thought he might like a lot of times he truly didn't know the show. I have to admit it was almost refreshing, but I always would whisper in his ear and tell him he needed to "binge" a season or two of shows like Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy just so when his friends at school would talk about shows they were watching, he'd be in the loop. I was that "bad" Nana!  He even developed a liking for That 70's Show. I thought that was a riot because he did that on his own.

BTW...Happy 21st Birthday, Nathan! I love you!

A few years ago I questioned him about why he's not on Facebook and he's just not interested in it. Hallelujah! I have to say I'm proud of him because I think it's a wise decision on his part. I think Facebook has become ultra intrusive in so many people's private data and has also become a vehicle for propaganda to unwittingly to get spread around by uninformed "nitwits."  My apologies if you're one of those nitwits...If you are, FACT CHECK FIRST, before you share and spread lies with the rest of Facebook. Thanks!

Now on to the good stuff...
If this doesn't warm the cockles of your heart, nothing will! [lol]

MARENGO, Iowa (KCRG/Gray News) - ‘No phone, new friends Fridays’ is a new tradition at Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School in Marengo. Principal Janet Behrens started it this year.

[Students take part in No phone, new friends Friday]

She said she noticed students at the school with their heads down, looking at their phones. Instead, she wanted them to look at each other, and learn face-to-face communication skills.

Students like junior Page Weick say they're seeing a difference. “Everybody enjoys it,” Weick said.

Students get a colored card when they walk in the cafeteria that tells them at which table to sit. The tables also have conversation starters.

“I think it's fun, I like doing it,” said Sahara Kanke, a freshman.

It's also a no-phone zone.

“Every little thing helps in this day and age with all of the things that you have going on, all the pressures that they have with social media. It's nice to see them take a break from all that,” Behrens said.

It took students a couple of weeks to get used to the idea.

“When it first started, I didn't want to do it at all,” Kanke explained.

“At the all-school assembly on the first day of school, there was a little bit of like, ‘No way, she's not really going to do that,'” Behrens said.

“Conversation is one of the most human, and humanizing things that we can do,” said Nathan Hodges, who teaches communication studies at Coe College.

He has an assignment where students go on a 24-hour tech detox, showing the importance of human connection in a digital age.

“You learn how to listen to people. You learn how to empathize with them,” he said.

Students said they think a phone-free lunch hour, spent talking with new friends, is helping their school to become a kinder place.

“People are more nice to each other now because they got to know each other at lunch,” Kanke said.

“I think people have a lot more respect for others,” Weick said.

Copyright 2021 KCRG via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Read the original version of this article at kcrg.com.

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