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  • Carmen Cristini Eichman

Big Imaginations

I feel fortunate to have grown up in a small town, where almost everyone knew your name. Everyone also knew their neighbors and most people who passed by on the street. It was a quiet, comfortable, safe place surrounded by friends and family nestled in Pennsylvania. Back in the day, our phones were landline without call waiting, call forwarding, or voice messages. They were either connected to the wall or sitting on top of a table with a spiral cord attached to the wall that was never long enough. Most houses had one or two phones, usually with one centrally located in the kitchen.

Can you imagine having to stand in one spot in your house while talking on the phone to one person? Wait, do you even talk on the phone? Kids today are connected to their phones like an appendage, but they don't actually talk on it. They text, Snapchat, Instagram, play games, and if they're desperate, on occasion, they will email. It seems like a lot of people have lost the ability to communicate. It's easier to send a few abbreviated words, in place of really telling a story. We're always on our phones checking or sending messages even when there's someone else sitting right next to us. I'm not sure if kids even know how to socialize or communicate the way we used to. I get so frustrated when I call my kids, and they don't answer their phones. Instead within a few seconds after I call them, they text me! I usually text them back to CALL ME!

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not trading in my cell phone, and I will continue to use it just as much as everyone else. I'm lost without it. It's convenient, efficient, a time saver, a safety device, and a distractor among other things. However, as much as I am reliant on my cell phone, I can put it down without having heart palpitations. Can your teenager say the same thing? I know how to make a phone call, and I know how to talk to people. I have an active imagination that doesn't involve my device. As I said, I grew up in a small town where I had to use my creativity when organized activities weren't available. When there wasn't a lot to do, we figured something out. I also had to call my friends if I wanted them to join me. Sometimes I feel like our kids' minds would soar, if they let their imaginations take over and put their phones on silent mode.

As an eight year old in my book series, Tony Baloney doesn't have a phone yet. So I guess that's why his imagination is active. . . probably overactive if you ask his family and teachers. His creativity gets him into lots of trouble. He does love video games, so it's only a matter of time before he has his own cell phone. I'm working on the next book in the series, so keep checking my blogs and websites to see my progress!

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