A couple of weeks ago I saw this post a lot on Facebook about the over use of electronics in our society and how it makes us look, and it kids of bugged me. It showed what we look like throughout the day while holding our electronics by taking the phones/iPads/etc out of our hands in photos (using Photoshop, I’m guessing.) Here’s what annoys me about this! I get that a lot of us are addicted to our phones. It is a pet peeve of mine to hang out with people at dinner or home and have them constantly looking at their phones (or worse yet, you ask them something and they don’t answer because they are too into what they are reading. Ugh!) I hate seeing a family at a restaurant and having every single one of them looking at a device the entire meal. I think a lot of us cannot go more than five seconds without seeing what is going on on Facebook, even though though you are with your ACTUAL friends in REAL LIFE.
Yet, there are often really good reasons why we are on our phones. Perhaps you run an on-line business and are checking in with sales? Maybe your child is fussing at the grocery store and Mickey Mouse on your iPad is your only form of peace? Perhaps the game your child is playing on the computer next to you on the couch is a part of a reading program at school, and you are reading a book on your Kindle next to them? Or maybe you are Face timing your husband at the dinner table because you haven’t seen his face in two months and you have to accept the call?
I think a lot of us are quick to judge when it comes to phone use and what other people are doing, when REALLY, we just need to monitor ourselves. I tend to be on my phone and computer a lot for my blog, so I have a rule for myself that from 4-7pm on weekdays I put my phone in my room when the kids get home from school. I also don’t check social media on Sunday (actually Saturday night until Sunday night when my kids go to bed!) We don’t do phones at the dinner table, and I try to keep it put away while out to dinner as well. These rules work for me, and they give me a sense of control when it comes to the addiction I can have for my devices. It works for me and gives me some peace.
It’s funny being part of one generation that grew up without all of this (I got my first cell phone at age 24), and raising another generation where they know nothing else. My kids have never lived in a house where we have had a home phone, never will have to call collect on a pay phone to get a ride home from school, and will live in a world where everything can be accessed 24/7 via a phone or device. This scares me, but I think that if I model good behavior with my phone and online life they will follow. We will have strict rules and it will be important to me to teach hem phone etiquette, and taking the time to remember that spending time with family and friends WITHOUT a device and distractions sometimes is always the best thing.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and check my Instagram😉