Maybe it’s just me but I can’t stand that my 7-month-old son is obsessed with my cell phone. I am a bit non-traditional when it comes to technology, (which is funny because I used to work in IT) so maybe I’m alone on this one. I just don’t think babies or kids (or adults!) should be glued to screens. It’s become second nature for us to grab our phones when a commercial comes on or we’re bored. But really, does that make you any less bored? No. You just mindlessly scroll through your social media of choice. What happened to family time? And listen, I’m not innocent here. I am just as guilty of wasting away my night on my phone, but lately, I’ve been more aware of how ridiculous it is. It’s time to make a change. It’s time to go back to the “good ol’ days” when we enjoyed each other’s company. Put down the phones and turn off the TV. It’s time to ditch the screens. It’s time to be a role model for younger generations.
Put Down the Phones and Turn Off the TV. It’s Time to be a Role Model.
Until 5 years ago I had no cable TV, no internet, and no smart phone. I spent time reading, crocheting, watching DVDs and VHS (yes, I still own VHS), and going out with friends. People used to be shocked when I told them I had no internet, smart phone, or cable. They couldn’t understand what I did with my time. They thought I was weird and behind the times.
I slowly progressed to the modern world with internet, then a smart phone, and finally cable as a request from my now husband when he moved in. Well, now that I have it all, I spend my time on my phone, watching the same episode of Triple D for the thousandth time, and basically wasting my life away in front of screens. And I pay out the you-know-what to do it. Ugh!
Which of those realities should be scoffed at? We all know the answer.
I’m not saying go totally off the grid. People need the internet. I work from home. I make a living by having the internet. But that should stop when I clock out for the day.
Kids need a computer for school and homework and to prepare for their future. But they don’t need to live on it.
TV is entertainment, and we need entertainment in our lives (you’re not taking away my GoT) but do we need to watch the same show over and over, for hours a day, just to pass the time?
Phones used to be for talking to people. Now, I know people who won’t answer a phone call but will immediately answer a text. My phone is truly more of a mini computer than a way to communicate with people. And they’re basically glued to this generation’s hand. Texting (or social media-ing?!) and driving is an epidemic. A deadly one.
It’s time we wake up and see what we’re teaching the next generation.
It’s a habit of mine to scroll through my phone while feeding my son first thing in the morning. If he catches a glimpse of it he’s instantly distracted and grabbing for it. He’s Seven. Months. Old. I can’t help but feel like a terrible mother when it happens. I’m sitting on my phone through these precious moments with my child. And I know, we all need a break because life is hard. But I just don’t want to instill this technology obsession before his first birthday.
They make toy cell phones for babies. I see parents handing their whining children their phone or tablet all the time to quiet them. Hell, kids have their own tablets. It blows my mind. And I’m not shaming anyone who does this. It’s the society we live in. We all do it because it’s the norm.
I was out to dinner recently with my husband and son and there was a table next to us with 2 high school aged kids seemingly on a date. They both sat on their phones they whole time. The ENTIRE time. What’s the point? It’s not just the kids though. Adults are doing it all the time as well. Where do you think the kids are learning it? It starts with us. The parents. The mentors. The adults in our society.
I think it’s time for a change.
No phones at the table.
No working after you clock out for the day.
No excessive TV time (or Youtube, or Netflix, or all the other streaming services).
No incessant social media checking.
More family time.
More time for hobbies.
More talking to each other.
More time outside.
More living life.
I’m gonna go ahead and be super cheesy right now and quote Mahatma Gandhi. He said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It starts with you and me. Even a small change can make a big impact.
Make a phone bowl. Somewhere you can hear it if it rings but isn’t close enough to just grab when you’re bored.
Limit or eliminate phone/tablet/computer time in the evenings and on weekends.
Ditch cable. Make it harder to watch TV. Set a limit on when and how much TV you watch each day.
Do anything that will show our future generations what’s really important in life. Easier said than done, I know. But we have to do something.
This is our wake up call. Put the phone down. Turn off the TV.
I say this with love and respect for you and future generations. We can be better. I will be better. For my own sanity, I have to be better.