I love my phone.
It’s always there for me. When I’m bored, when I need to know something, when I’m awkwardly walking by someone trying not to make eye contact.
My phone is always there. And that’s also the problem.
We're addicted to our phones. When we’re in the car, that doesn’t change. Driving in traffic, in a neighborhood, or just sitting at a red light, we can’t help it. When our phones light up, we immediately reach for them. When they’re in the cup-holder at arm’s length, how could we not? There’s an internal pressure, an urge to look and respond. Each notification is like a Christmas present waiting to be opened. (#FOMO)
But, every day, lives are lost. Because all it takes is one quick glance down for it all to be over.
Despite ad campaigns, hands-free laws, public service announcements, and even pleas from people who have lost loved ones, we can’t seem to get it through our heads once we get in the car.
Think about it. Cars are light-years safer than ever before, but with our phones in our laps, we’re more reckless than ever before.
We need a solution, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated one.
I’m TJ Therrien, and I’m addicted to my phone. My tipping point was a moment earlier this fall with one of our three kids in the backseat. I was driving and our son asked, “Daddy, what are you doing on your phone?” He’s 4 years old. It finally hit me—I was putting my family at risk, putting other people at risk, because of what? What was I doing on my phone? Watching a snap, reading an email . . . obviously checking my fantasy football scores. I needed to Figure It Out.
Then I looked around. So many people have their phones in hand—looking down, then up, then down again. Swerving. I learned this is an epidemic more dangerous than drinking and driving. So my wife, Melissa, and I decided to do something about it.
So. We created a box.
We needed the visual reminder to put our phones away when we drive, so we placed a box on our dashboard. We told our kids that our phones go in the box every time we drive so that they could help keep us accountable (they love keeping their parents accountable . . .). It was so freaking simple, but it worked.
We thought the idea of other people doing this was crazy. But then again, why wouldn’t they?
That’s when The Phone Box Movement was born.
Every time you get in the car, you put your phone in the box. And then you drive. You get to your destination, and you get on with your day.
You become part of the solution. You become part of the movement that says, “Enough is enough."
Here’s the truth: It’s so much more than a box. When you use it, it represents what’s outside of the box—everything you live for. (#YOLO>#FOMO)
Luckily, My wife and I don't have a heartbreaking story about texting and driving. We started The Phone Box Movement because we don’t want a story.
People should never have to wonder if other drivers are keeping their eyes on the road. Our kids should never have to wonder if their parents are driving safely.
It’s a super simple challenge with a very big mission. And if other people take a stand with us, The Phone Box Movement will make a difference, our roads will be safer, and lives will be saved.