As a teacher, I get my heart broken from time to time on Free-Write Fridays. On those days, the students are allowed to write about anything that they would like. They can write happy or sad, funny or mad. They can write literally, whatever they want. And because it is free-write Friday, they do not have to even share it with me if they do not want to. You would be surprised at what I sometimes read. Heart breaking.
Like this time…
I once had a girl write a story entitled A Smart Phone. I thought, “Oh, this should be a good one, she is probably talking about her new cell phone, or maybe sharing a neat story about something related to a cell phone, or something like that.” She was one of my best writers, so I was really excited! Was I ever off-base!!??
She had actually written about the fact that she wanted to be a cell phone, in her home, instead of herself. She wanted to be a device instead of herself. This beautiful, smart, caring little girl…And her life goal was to be a smart phone? That first sentence was enough to mortify me, but I carefully read on.
She went on and on about how much, both her mom and dad loved their phones, and how much quality time they spent together each and every night, over and over and over. She mentioned that she was never made to feel as important as a phone, and that no one really even ever listened to her or paid any attention to her whatsoever. “I want equal time.”
She wished that she could, just once, actually talk with someone who was truly listening to her, and paying attention to her. Not with someone faking it, and shaking their head, even though they had no earthly idea what it was it was that she had just said to them. “I want to be listened to.”
She wanted some “special attention.” She wanted the smiles that her mom gave to her Facebook posts, and the laughter from the funny videos, and even the tears she shed from the sad posts. She wanted to be given the same emotions as those 2 phones, and she felt so much that she truly deserved at least that. “I want cared for.”
She would go on to saying that she also wanted her dad to notice her, and spend the kind of time that he does with his phone each night. She needs a father figure in her life, and she needs to talk to a man once in a while, and be able to hear his perspective on certain things. She wanted to matter as much as Twitter and as much about sports and the news. “I want to matter.”
She closed with, “I want to feel that just once, my family can actually put everything else aside for even 5 or 10 minutes to show me that I am even a little bit important to them, and that they love me as much as they do those stupid, stupid smart phones. I want to be a smart phone.”
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