Last weekend my little family of three went on a get-away trip to San Antonio. We had a great time and made an effort to keep our phones put away except for a few snapshots here and there. We didn’t even verbalize set phone-rules, we just wanted to be sure we enjoyed each other more than we enjoyed our technology.
Here are things we noticed:
- our conversation was focused on us, not on what we saw on Facebook
- our kiddo thrives on adventure – even if it means taking a different path than we did to get to the same place
- we actually had productive conversations about our parenting goals and family goals
- we laughed. a lot.
- we didn’t miss our phones
Here is what we noticed at other tables in restaurants:
- the people dining hardly looked at each other
- heads hardly ever looked up from phones when servers brought their meals
- phones were still in one hand while eating with the other
- often the only conversation that occurred was in reference to someone showing a picture on his/her phone
- KIDS are glued to tablets and phones
I remember my husband saying, “I’m glad that’s not us – I’m glad we don’t have our phones out.”
And I remember thinking, “Today. I’m glad we had the willpower to put them away today.”
This video impacts me every single time I watch it and it reminds me to have a healthy respect for my phone. There is a time and a place to use your phone. Exercise some willpower and learn the difference.
It’s hard. It’s SO hard to create a healthy distance from technology when it’s everywhere AND when almost everyone in our circles is using it as well. Our kids are growing up in this new environment, and it’s our responsibility to set good examples for them.
With a smartphone it’s hard NOT to:
- answer that work email so you can show that you’re a team player
- text a friend with something funny your kid just said instead of laughing with your family
- look up that web address immediately after seeing it advertised
- check the weather/traffic … over and over again
- post the family picture you just took on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and so on
- play a game instead of sitting idle for 5 minutes while you wait in line
- check Facebook. again. and again. and again. and again.
- post a great quote on Twitter instead of really enjoying and soaking in that book
Several weeks ago, my friend Lauren posted this link on Facebook – I know, the irony of it all, but stay with me here. It’s basically a challenge to see how long you can go without picking up your phone and here’s the gem of it all… the minutes ticking by while your phone sits idle, is rewarded to people who don’t have phones. In fact, they don’t even have water. Read more here, and take the challenge.
Do some good to yourself, your family, your boundaries, and to total strangers who can’t ever repay you.