|Me at my college reunion|
Just out of curiosity, I decided to Google search the affects of cell phone use on parent-child relationships, thinking I'd find a cache of articles on distracted parents and an increase in children's accidents. Something along the lines of "Mother, distracted by phone, fails to catch falling child" or "Father, engrossed in YouTube meme, allows clown to mug son." But, oddly, I only found articles about choosing phones and phone plans for your children, or the effects of cell use by teenagers on parent-child relationships. Maybe I've hit upon a new area of study or maybe cell phone companies - both manufacturers and phone plans - are influencing the media with ad money. Call me cynical. All I know is I see an alarming number of parents of small children, toddlers up through elementary age parents, scrolling around on their phones instead of interacting with their kids. I've also seen teachers - yes, paid teachers! - on field trips, whip out their smart phones and get sucked into their virtual reality while the learning goes on (or doesn't) around them. I'm not just pointing fingers. Well, maybe I am just a smidge, but I've done it too.
While I'm not fond of resolutions and my new Zen guru, Leo Babauta, over at Zen Habits suggests we should live goal-free, I do have a goal to lose my smart phone crutch, to hang it up during the evenings just like my husband, and to definitely stay away from the screen before bed when it tends to suck away moments of sleep time. All of this constant checking and liking and texting and sharing and emoticoning can be anxiety-producing. Sharing and connecting are good things and I will hold onto my Facebook account, continue to check email, but I just will not be a junkie about it.
Photo, courtesy of David J. Owen Photography