By: Sarah Meikle
“Mommy put the phone down.”As I took my eyes off of my phone I could see my 3 year old son looking up at me. Tears started to form in my eyes.“Come here mommy.” He took my hand, led me over to where he had been playing with his cars.“Sit here,” he said as he handed me a car. We sat there playing together for a good 10 minutes, until he was off playing with another toy.
This was the first time those words had come out of his mouth. I guess that’s why it hit me so hard. It had been a busy couple of months in our home. I had been on my phone a lot! I found myself not living in the moment, but focused on everything else that needed to get done. I had forgotten what was most important, my kids! Camden who’s 3 and Kaylee who was 7 months at the time. Both had been very patient through it all. I think that day my son just really needed me, and I think I just needed him to remind me to stop, take a deep breath, and focus on what was in front of me.
Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and it’s easy to get lost and forget about what truly is important. In a world full of distractions this can be hard to do. Our lives have become consumed by social network sites and everyday activities. It’s easy to just zone out. I have to consciously make myself aware of how much time I spend on my phone. It can be addicting and easy to spend hours before you even realize it. That’s why my husband and I have discussed how much time and when it is appropriate for us to play on our phones. One of the things we have found helpful is to place our cell phones on the kitchen counter, so that we are not tempted to look at them.
Unfortunately, I think this problem exits in most homes on a regular basis. I recently read an article about a study done by researchers from Boston Medical Center. They observed families eating at restaurants, without their knowledge. They found that one third of the adults used their devices throughout the entire meal.
Another alarming factor to add to that, Dr. Jenny Radesky, lead author of the study said, “There were a lot of instances where there was very little interaction, harsh interaction or negative interaction between the adults and children.”
Children want our attention and when we don’t give it to them, often they act out. Have you ever had a conversation with someone while they constantly looked at their phone? How did it make you feel? So imagine how a child feels?
I worry that if society doesn’t realize that this can and is a problem that it will be too late to reverse the negative affect it has on our lives and our children’s lives. Albert Einstein said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction…
What do you think? Do you feel technology is interfering with our interaction with each other? What are some ways you and your family manage cell phone/technology time?