FAMILY & PARENTING

Second-Grader Pens Heartfelt Essay About Wishing Cell Phones Were Never Invented

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

When Louisiana elementary school teacher Jen Adams Beason asked her second-graders to write an essay about an invention they wished had never been made, she was floored by the response penned by one of her students.

“A phone is sometimes a really bad habit,” the child wrote. “I hate my mom’s phone and I wish she never had one.”

Beason took to Facebook in mid-May to share a photo of the student’s essay, which went viral before it was deleted. Within days, thousands of people had reacted to the post on social media; it struck a chord with parents and non-parents alike. We could all use a reminder to put down our devices once in a while. (After you finish reading this story on your mobile device of choice, of course.) Thanks, kid!

"I Don't Like the Phone"

"I Don't Like the Phone"

In her post, Beason revealed that “Out of 21 students, 4 of them wrote about this topic.”

"I Wish She Never Had One"

"I Wish She Never Had One"

“I don’t like the phone because my [parents] are on their phone every day,” the student wrote. Aww.

"That's An Invention That I Don't Like"

"That's An Invention That I Don't Like"
Jen Adams Beason / Facebook

The student added some visuals to hammer their point home, drawing a picture of a mobile phone with an X through it below their essay. Whew!

What Do Fellow Parents Think?

What Do Fellow Parents Think?

Lots of parents related to this issue, judging by people’s responses on Twitter. After all, it’s easy to lose track of time — and what’s important IRL — when you’re always glued to your phone.

If you’ve ever made your kid wait around until you’re done fiddling with your phone, you’re not alone.

When you think about it, the invention of the cell phone really is a double-edged sword.

Many people hoped the essay served as an important reminder for the child’s parents. (Pretty sure this person meant “walk.”)

Not everyone agreed that the cell phone itself is the source of many parents’ inattention, though: Some parents will always be absorbed in their own activities, people argued.

Rivka Arbetter / Facebook

For what it’s worth, this isn’t a new problem. Remember when the Blackberry was first released? Parents were ALL over them.

Childhood only happens once, cautioned some parents.

Susan Margrave / Facebook

PSA: Kids definitely notice when you’re on your phone all the time.

Molly Spurgeon / Facebook

Some older parents warned young parents about missing out on little moments in their children’s lives — they might regret it later!

Rhiannon Borunda / Facebook

In certain instances, it all comes down to a choice: To parent, or to Snapchat? To give your kids some attention, or to update your Instagram Story?

No matter which side you’re taking, we would all be wise to be more conscious of our cell phone use.