"Get off your phone!!"

That's the now-gone-viral message that a daycare center in Hockney, Texas, put onto a sign for parents arriving at the center to pick up their kids.

The sign, as Fox News reports, read:

““You are picking up your child! GET OFF YOUR PHONE!!!! Your child is happy to see you! Are you not happy to see your child??”We have seen children trying to hand their parents their work they completed and the parent is on the phone. We have heard a child say ‘Mommy, mommy, mommy…” and the parent is paying more attention to their phone than their own child. It is appalling. Get off your phone!!”

One of the mothers, Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz, spotted the sign and took a picture of it–with her phone–and upload the photo onto Facebook, where it's been shared nearly 1 million times.

Some of the Facebook commenters got all huffy about the idea that parents ought to pay attention to their own children:

“Some people have to work on their phones. I have my personal cell and a work cell,” Kirstin Ramsey wrote. “Just because I clock out of the office doesn’t mean I’m finished with my work day. There have been plenty of times I’ve picked up my daughter and been on a work call.”

Or that lowly daycare workers were presuming to tell them what to do:

Janise Warren wrote: “Sorry, I’d remove my child from that school. They are right, of course, but that sign is not how you talk to another person, especially one paying your salary. I’m sure it’s true to be heard by many parents, but these are the people I would have entrusted to help teach my kids respect and they were just as disrespectful with that sign as the parents were with the phone. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

But what's fascinating about the sign is that it seemed to have been effective–maybe some of those "work calls" turned out not to be so crucially important after all.

Farris said she had not heard from other parents at the day care – though she hasn’t seen anyone on their phones since the sign went up.

The invention of the cell phone coincided with the invention of the cell phone menace: that human being who almost walks right into you, or almost drives right into you, or dawdles at the stoplight, or considers the dinner hour the time to check e-mail instead of carry on a conversation.

This is why there are constant demands for banning drivers from using their phones, even when the devices aren't held in the hand. And even though economists say that the benefits in fewer accidents would be outweighed by the costs: slower responses to roadside emergencies because drivers wouldn't be able to report them, for example.

But as the daycare sign in Texas indicates, there's something that works more quickly and effectively than regulation: shaming. Who now wants to be the mom who's so busy tending to her all-important career that she can't give her small child a hug and a smile at pickup time?