Okay, here goes. I am going to be very real here. Because this is a very real issue.
Last night I read this post on Facebook from Momastery. (If you don't have the desire, or time, to read it I will summarize it as basically addressing the issue of being distracted by our phones while driving, how careless it is, how most everyone does it, how we're putting everyone in danger, and how she and her husband made a contract to put their phones in the glove compartment while driving to keep the temptation away. She says so much more than this though, I encourage you to read it.)
Her post led to a conversation with my husband. Although glued to his phone, he does not have nearly as many opportunities as I do to put himself and our kids at risk. Unlike me he is at work all day, and unlike me he takes public transportation during the day. However, HOWEVER, we both have done it. We both have been in the car, in the driver's seat, and checked our phones.
Here's the thing. We think that because we're not texting, because we aren't tapping away at the screens and squinting to find the right letters that we're safe. We're not texting and driving, oh no, not me. I would never be so reckless and careless and stupid to do that. But it doesn't matter. It's not just texting anymore. It's EVERYTHING.
Do you peek at your phone while driving? Do you? Because I know I do. And I know other people do to. I've looked over when passing other cars and seen them. My phone "dings" announcing a new text and I just peek at it to see who it's from. I'm stopped at a red light and I just peek at Instagram to see who posted since I last checked.
I'm not texting. I'm not. I'm just checking. It's just a quick glance. No biggie, right? Wrong.
Are we really so addicted to our phones that we can't go twenty minutes without looking at it? Are we so attached to our electronics that we can't just drive our cars? Why does being in the car automatically feel like the best time to make a phone call? Why does a red light seem like a perfect opportunity to check in on Facebook?
My husband and I have made an agreement. Our phones go away when we are in the driver's seat. I have three kids in the car with me ninety-nine percent of the time. I do not need another distraction. I have three perfect and beautiful and wonderful distractions who I would die for. Why in the world would I be willing to put them at risk by checking my stupid phone?
Not anymore. Not ever again.
This morning I saw this video circulating Facebook. I'm pretty sure it's the video Glennon mentions in her post. It is terrible and painful and raw. And the woman in it is not texting. She is not. She is peeking. She is peeking at her phone and the end result is the worst thing imaginable.
We think that if we're not texting it's okay. It's not that bad. It's not that distracted.
Please stop. Please make a contract, a pact, a vow to put and KEEP your phone away while in the driver's seat. It's not just texting anymore. It's "peeking" too. It's "checking" too.
Please put your phone away. Please please please. For your family, for your kids, for your safety, for everyone else out on the road. Do not check your phone while driving. It can wait.