The ban on the use of mobile phones in Valencian schools and institutes has been in place for a week and surely more than one kid has been surprised when they look up. I don’t laugh at their involvement, which must be outrageous in some cases, I feel sorry for them. Because if we have come this far it is because things had started to get out of hand.

I know families who are the resistance of their centers for denying it to their teenage children and who admit that in the end they will buy it sooner than they would like because they do not want to subject them to social isolation. I imagine those group chats, in a jargon that I’m sure I no longer understand, in which someone laughs at someone who doesn’t participate. It’s the ‘I don’t support you’ of the 21st century, which someone said the other day in a conversation with friends born in the eighties. We were all sad about how difficult it is to limit screens when you are in a community, that whoever takes out the notebook and markers instead of the tablet is almost a hero and that many times we fall because the person next to us has no limits and of course, endure …. It costs, you know. But all those reflections, which we all nodded with a sad face, we did not apply to ourselves. The minute we finish our talk, we all take our cell phones out of our pockets and update the chat, check our emails or photograph something, with good framing and a filter, lest we don’t record this time in our smartphone’s memory.

Look at the bus, no one notices when an old man gets on who needs to sit down because everyone looks down and scrolls with their finger. It also happens in the subway, where at times it is understandable by the absence of landscape, but where were those books devoured at the foot of the platform? Even at traffic lights, the wait is shorter checking social media and the coffee shop line is better spent checking email.

I don’t know if it’s FOMO, that fear of missing out, or if we’ve become idiots, honestly. Because if you try to chat with the person next door, sometimes you learn things; If you look at the landscape from the bus you discover that store and that other one and if you stop at the traffic light and just look, they might not even hit you. We cannot live with torticollis. What message are we giving to those children who we have prohibited from looking at their cell phones if as soon as they leave the classroom we are all looking at our phones? That of hypocrisy, I’m afraid.

I don’t aspire to live in the Middle Ages either, understand me. I’m a journalist and you know, this never stops. But there are times when I try to hide my phone when I’m with my children and I avoid taking that pretty photo that I sense while they jump and run happily to see them with only my eyes.

I want to do it well, but just in case, let them take away my cell phone too because I don’t promise anything.