If you are on Facebook (and if you’re not, WHO ARE YOU?), chances are you’ve seen a link circulating recently about how your fascination with your electronic devices can make you miss your children’s lives.
If you haven’t seen the link, here it is. It appeared on my facebook wall more times than I can possibly tell you, always accompanied by “OMG, you must read this,” or “I’m crying. So true.”
Now, the content of this article is very heartfelt and very to the point. She talks about how being lost in one’s digital gadgets can be harmful to your relationship with your children, how the children learn that whatever is happening is more important than them, all sorts of statements that had just enough truth seeded into them to make any modern-day, smartphone toting, social media savvy parent feel like dog shit gone white.
Now, to be fair – she does dedicate a couple of sentences to how this is the modern world and sometimes we have to be accessible. Sometimes it’s necessary to allow laptops and smartphones into our lives.
May I offer my point of view? I’m gonna.
I’m a blogger, and a full-time online student. I’m also married to a podcaster who is also a full-time student. Technology and the gadgets involved are completely enmeshed in our lives.
I love my iPhone. My iPad. To a lesser degree, the computers and such which inhabit my house – and there are a lot. I love to text message. I love to steal a few minutes in the day to check facebook, tweet something random, or peruse my blog stats for the day.
Certainly, as a society, we are more interconnected than ever before. I talk to my husband while he’s at work. I always have a camera because I always have my phone. And yes, I check my phone before I talk to anyone in my family because EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY IS USUALLY STILL ASLEEP SINCE I WAKE EVERYONE UP.
Some people escape into books. Some into painting or gardening or building rockets. This has always been the case. I don’t really see any difference.
Of course it’s important to acknowledge your family and the others in your lives. To look them in the eye, listen when they talk, and be fully present when they need you – but I don’t see that as having anything to do with being less connected. I see that as being a decent human being.
So, my response to the article is as follows:
I am a connected mom. I interact constantly and I learn constantly. My children know they are important. They know because I’m their mom. I bandage scrapes and icepack bumps and come running when they have nightmares. They do not have some woeful mourning inferiority because I sometimes play Jetpack Joyride.
Because I show them moderation, they learn that I am, as they are, members of a continuous mechanism. Everyone is connected, everyone is important. I don’t have to throw away my iPhone to be a good mom. I just have to use good sense. And I think that’s a better example than anything else.