Giving up Gadgets. Again.

Okay. I know, I know. I’ve done this before but this time….well, this time – it’s sticking.

I know I struggle with spending too much time with my face stuck in front of one kind of screen or another. I love gadgets of all kinds and the technology really is amazing. (Especially considering I learned how to type on a Tandy 1000 from Radio Shack!) There is an app for everything – its fun! Facebook, ichat, Amazon, and the internet at my fingertips all the time!

For the last few months (since the attempted amputations) it’s been nagging at me… It’s all cool stuff…but at what cost?

Now, let me be clear. I in no way think that smartphones, apps, iPads, Kindles, Nooks etc. are bad, evil, or wrong.  I’ll be the first to profess my love of technology and the wonderful things it can do and how it can keep us connected in all kinds of ways. (Words with Friends? Bejeweled Blitz, anyone?) What I do think, for me, for our family, is that gadgets have become a time eater. I think to myself, “I’ll make lunch after I check messages,” and what started out as a 5 minute task turns into 30 minutes later. It happens all the time. Or my favorite is when Eric and I are on opposite ends of the couch, the kids are into a movie, and we are messaging each other on our phones. Hello?!  Can you say ridiculous?! That’s not keeping us “connected”. It’s disengaging us from being really together. Yes, we are in the same room, but we are in our own little worlds around a silly little screen. And it doesn’t get that way overnight. It eats away time very subtly, and very slowly.

A teacher friend of mine had relayed a conversation with a student of hers via Facebook: The student excitedly said she got to go to her mom’s that weekend. When asked what she usually did with her mom, the student got a dejected look on her face and replied, “Mom is usually on her phone doing Facebook, so I just watch TV.”  This conversation cinched it for me. It struck a chord and made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. This could so easily be my kids saying that about me at school. Is that the kind of parent I want to be? Of course not. I’ve been reading blogs like Hands Free Mama and Finding Joy for quite awhile now. It all rings true for me – the letting go of stuff and the unnecessary to enjoy and LIVE in what REALLY matters.

To this end, Eric and I decided to go back to life before smartphones.


AAAAAck! How will we ever survive?!

I think we will manage.

We were so productive yesterday without our phones and time seemed to go slower. The day didn’t just fly by like it usually does. Something tells me that spending more time really with our kids as a family (not just in the same room disengaged) will be a decision we will not regret.

And maybe…just maybe, our kids won’t grow up faster than they already are….


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