Teacher writes kids' book inspired by her own tech distractions

Denise Roland decided to hold herself accountable after her daughter pointed out to her that she was looking at her phone too much.

So the teacher and mother of three from Quogue came out with the book Please, Look Up at Me after she realized she is far from the only one swiping and scrolling on screens. She has been noticing the problem among her children, students, and society as a whole.

"So how it feels when you're talking to someone but they're looking somewhere else," Roland said.

Kate, the main character in the book, was sharing artwork she was proud of with her dad but he was on his phone.

The goal of the book is to foster a conversation between kids and their caregivers about boundaries with tech use in the home. It's something Roland's children have learned from a young age.


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"Are there certain places in your home where you really don't want digital devices? Do you need a box on your kitchen counter when everyone puts their phone away when it's dinner time and they feel it's a connected moment," she said.

Roland said she isn't advocating reversing technology but rather recognizing a healthy balance.

Please, Look Up at Me, written by Roland and illustrated by Andrea Shine, is available now.