A [34 year old] northern Colorado woman who was playing a game on Facebook while her 13-month-old baby drowned in a full bathtub was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, Johnson put her son in the tub for his bath a little after 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20. She then left him unsupervised in a bathtub full of water as she went to another room to share videos, check status updates and play Cafe World on Facebook. Johnson told deputies that Joseph had grown independent and wanted to be left alone in the tub.
Johnson pleaded guilty in March to negligently causing the death of her child. — NPR.com
At 13 months he had “grown independent?” How come in 34 years, Mom hasn’t grown a brain? Or developed enough common sense not to turn her back on a child in a tub of water?
I suspect this story got play because Facebook is involved — everyone knows what a time-suck FB is and how hours can sail by unnoticed while the house burns down — but I suspect Mom was a catastrophe seeking an opportunity. If it hadn’t been Facebook it would have been something else, sooner or later. This poor kid was doomed when she left the room, not when she went on-line.
It’s not quite like the South Korean couple who let their child starve to death while they tended to a virtual baby. That wasn’t mere fatal carelessness. That was addiction and neglect.
Still, it’s highly disturbing, and yet another reminder how easy it is to get fatally distracted, whether it’s Facebook, texting or yapping on the phone while driving, or watching high school girls’ softball games wearing nothing but a long trench coat. High tech or low life, you’re taking a chance.
Where was I?