Sigh. I am having such a struggle knowing this is something I need to address: I have a love/hate relationship with my iphone. I LOVE technology. The things that it can do, the convenience it brings. But there has been a nagging feeling in the back of my mind for quite some time.
I have to admit, I’m a Facebook quitter. I’ve quit many times, only to return because I feel like often it’s the only way to stay connected to friends and family who live all over. (One of the many benefits of being in the military is making friends everywhere!) But as connected as we “seem” to be, I often find myself checking in and seeing Susie Q from high school and her 289 posts about every minute detail of her and her children’s lives. (And I’m sure I am someone else’s “Susie” with the details of my life!)
Then there’s the iphone. Who emails anymore? Texting is so fun, quick and easy. It’s all but replaced an actual phone call. And it’s great, because I can surf the web, shop online, Facebook message, play Bejeweled Blitz, email and text all from one little gadget! And it has my music and GPS tracker for my running habit! Just like they say – “There’s an app for that!”
But at what cost? What am I teaching my kids? We all know that actions speak louder than words. Am I sending them the message that I am some kind of Pavlov dog chained to my silly gadget and every time it beeps and buzzes I go running for it? Am I telling them that I value technology over people? What do I want my kids to learn from my actions?
Then I read this: How to Miss A Childhood.
Ugh. It hits so close to home.
I’m distracted and not actually WITH my kids. Yes, I’m physically there, but not present. There is a difference. My daughter LOVES to play “food”. She has all kinds of pretend food and we have tea parties and sandwiches regularly. (Multiple times a day!) Sometimes, I will get up and “check my phone” for messages, emails, and Facebook – leaving her to play food without me. Of course there are times when the kids can and should play independently, but where is that line? I feel like with all the gadgets we have to make us more connected – it actually disconnects me from the people I want to be with the most.
Here is what I know:
I need to reduce gadget activity. I’m a stay at home mom who has a little family blog. Do I really need an iPhone? Nope. I don’t. Looks like it’s time to simplify. (Yes, I’m heading for a phone amputation! Eeek!)
For the record, Eric is home playing with Jake, Hannah is asleep on my lap as I type this so no kids are being ignored while I navigate my gadget relationship!
While Eric is deployed, email will be our primary means of communicating. But that can be done after kids go to bed, or during naps.
I will never regret spending more time with my family. Ever. It’s time to heed the advice of so many and savor this time with my kids. While perfection is an illusion, doing my best can be a reality. It’s time.
Thoughts? How do you manage/navigate love of technology?