No Texting While Driving and Dining

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 11:15)

You probably already know this, but please don’t text while driving.

The main point of driving is to get you and your passengers safely from point A to point B. I totally understand the desire to multitask and accomplish something seemingly more productive during your time in the car.

I’m all for using your drive time wisely. So make a few phone calls or listen to a business audiobook, classic novel, or Bible on CD. I recently enjoyed listening to a twenty-two-hour recording of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Mind you, not every minute was played while driving. I listened to some chapters while on a treadmill or walking around the neighborhood.

My point is that texting while driving requires you to take your eyes off the road. Even if you use voice dictation, you will find yourself glancing down to make sure the text is written correctly before hitting “Send.” I recently read about a woman in Colorado who did this and found that the split second of time she was not paying attention to the road caused her to hit a pole, which came through her car and impaled her buttocks. She was lucky to survive. And it was not a pretty scene for the emergency crews to come upon.

I haven’t even mentioned that it’s illegal in most states to text while driving.

That said, I have a confession to make: I often texted while driving. Shame on me. My wife and kids encouraged me to stop. (I would sometimes hand them my phone to do the typing for me, which was great.) But when I considered the story of the Colorado woman, the fact that texting while driving is illegal, and the prodding of my family, I finally got the message.

For me, there is no more texting while driving.

And it’s occurred to me that there are other times I need to put down the smartphone. Some people these days seem to have their faces tilted perpetually down and glowing from the light of a screen. It doesn’t seem to matter if they’re in line at the store or in a crowd of people. The worst offenders will often send a quick text while in the middle of a conversation with a “friend.” This shows either a low awareness of others, of oneself, or a low EQ (emotional quotient/intelligence).

Take a look around the next time you’re at a restaurant. There will be more than one family with Mom checking in on Facebook, Dad reading his e-mail, and siblings playing a video game or texting multiple friends. Everyone is in the same room, sitting at the same table, and ordering from the same menu, yet no one is having the same conversation.

So in addition to the admonition to not text while driving, I offer an addendum: No texting while driving—or dining.

Put the phone down at the dinner table. Don’t set an alarm. Don’t look anything up. Don’t check e-mail. Don’t see who just called. If you need a little jingle to help remind you, try this: “Put the phone in your pocket to stay or simply put it far away.”

Your kids want to hear from you, Dad and Mom. Look them in the eyes. Concentrate on their questions and answer them in a heartfelt manner. Listen to the cry of their young hearts. You will find that your kids like having you around and fully engaged in the dinner conversation. You’ll enjoy it too.

Are you ready to change your texting habits? I did. And it is making a world of difference in the relationships that I hold near and dear.

You should not text while driving or dining. When you do, you’re actually not paying attention to that which you should—namely the road or the people at the table.

As for me and my house, no more texting while driving or dining.

Let me know if you give it a try. I’d like to hear if your spouse and kids notice or comment on the change at the table. Don’t call attention to the change; you don’t want to be prideful about good new habits. Just listen to how your conversation changes for the better.

Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!

Davis Signature


© 2014 Davis Carman

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