Sorry, I’m Not Sharing Today

I took the kids to the museum today.

Nope, I’m not going to post pictures of the entire afternoon, because I didn’t even bring my camera.

Nope, I didn’t post a Facebook Status and live-tweet the whole time about what a great time we had, because I didn’t even bring my cellphone or iPad.

Nope, I’m not blogging about what we did all day, because I enjoyed the day with the kids without thinking about how I was going to make this fit into a blog post.

Nope, I’m not going to post super-funny quotes and anecdotes about what my kids said and did all day; not because there wasn’t a bunch, but I’m going to savor those just for myself.

As I frolicked through the museum with my kids and let them lead the way, I played with them, I engaged them, I watched them from the sidelines.  I enjoyed the moment without watching them obstructed from behind a camera lens; so afraid of missing the moment that I forgot to actually enjoy the moment happening.  I didn’t sit there off in the corner like countless parents that I did see say, “yuh-huh, okay” to their excited kids as they could barely look up from what was ever so captivating on the glow of their phone screen.  I mean, I’m sure their emails and their Facebook’s and all the live-tweting about how great a time they were having “playing” with their kids was so important, but today I wasn’t going to parent from behind a screen, and I had a blast.  So did my kids.

We learn about humanity and can predict behaviors from history and from statistics and from experience.  But we don’t have statistics about what our kids will grow up like with a generation of parents who can barely look at them because their cellphones are much more important than they are.  We can’t tell from history what a society of kids will become when raised by masses of parents that can’t seem to put their cameras down to watch their kids explore a museum or play soccer without videotaping it or check texts before they check their diapers.  It’s not like our parents didn’t take pictures of us and talk on the phones, but with the ease of the mobile devices and smart-phones, it seems like it is multiplied by a thousand.  I go to my kid’s school concert and it’s like the paparazzi in the aisles don’t want to miss a move their subjects make.  Are they even listening to their kids sing?  You go to the museum and it’s not just the pictures: it’s the pictures, then it’s the reposing because that one didn’t come out great, and we have a digital camera that you can check the image, so let’s take a million, and hold on just a sec- instagram is slow.. and on and on.

This is not fun for your kids, I promise.

Sometimes it’s nice just to not bring the technology along and feel the freedom of not being interrupted by cellphone calls and posing for the perfect picture and making sure my followers know what and where we are doing and pausing to get that Foursquare check-in logged before we head over to the carousel.

I promise you, when you go to the lobby, they will have a working phone available for you in case of an emergency.  I promise you, our parent’s had things on their mind all the time, but they didn’t have to text everyone they knew about it immediately, and somehow they seemed to manage okay.  I promise you, you will remember playing with your kids even if you don’t have a flip-book full of digital pictures of your kid’s every move that you probably won’t even print out anyway.  I promise you, your kids will enjoy it when they tell you something cool and you actually respond with sincere joy and interest.

I really like the John Lennon Quote,”Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Well, it’s true.  You know what else rings, true:

“Life is what happens when you’re stuck behind your smart phone.” – Me.




13 responses to “Sorry, I’m Not Sharing Today

  1. Engaging your kids is something that they will remember, whether they realize it or not. More importantly, you’ll remember it. Time goes fast; they’re only that age once.

    • That’s so true. I’m not going to act holier than thou and act like I haven’t ignored my kids because of technology.. but it’s regretable that I have done that.. and sad that SO MANY parents are stuck on the sidelines with their nose stuck in a phone. it really stands out when you walk through the museum, just take a look around all the parents and their cellphones. it’s gross

  2. Yet, you did share. You did blog about it. You blogged about not blogging about it. Am I wrong?

    You did hit on some very interesting points, however. I wonder what the generation of children who are currently being ignored will grow up to be? I’ve seen families out in restaurants, not talking to each other, all their faces illuminated by the glow of their iPhones, DSwhatevers, tablets … What are we turning into?

    There was a movie. Was it WallE? Ah yes. Here we are: “WALL-E sees humans for the first time. Obese and largely unable to move on their own, they are carted around the Axiom in hover chairs with video screens that allow them to communicate with one another and see a variety of advertisements for drinkable food products.”

    Is this where we are going? Unable to move; transfixed by our videoscreens or whatever technology is new and great. I hope I’m not around to see that. But the lure of the phone … people “following” you … your “friends” … all take precedence over the people right in front of your face. We text each other from adjacent rooms. Good God. I’ve done that. So have my kids.

    I think I was born in the wrong era. I wish I could go back to where I belong.

  3. I too worry about what all this phone use will lead to down the road. Kids learn from us how to be adults and parents. There are plenty of times I leave my phone at home, the only ones I tell are my adult children because they worry that I may be hurt if I don’t answer in a period of time, due to my disability. I won’t take my phone into a restaurant, and will only answer the phone when I’m with family or the grand kids specifically if it’s from their parent, everyone else can leave a voice mail.

  4. This is fantastic! I hope that other parents read and heed. Great job Andrea.

  5. I’m giving you a standing ovation right now. It’s SO TRUE. A year or so ago I participated in the Day to Disconnect, which was a movement asking people to pledge to not use their phones/computer for at least an hour, or more, on a certain day. They made a powerful video ( which illustrated the damaging effects of paying more attention to our phones than our relationships.

    It is totally gross, and massive kudos for being aware of it, and making others aware. I’m going to share your post!

  6. Sooo true!! I just recently put myself on a social media diet, and what do ya know? I’m still alive and kicking… My “friends” are still alive and kicking, and the world has not shifted axes, as I previously imagined could be possible, if I stayed off Facebook for a few weeks, lol… I’m supposed to allow myself back on Feb 1st, but quite honestly, I’m loving my newfound freedom, and sadly wonder if I will be able to exert enough self control to look at it sparingly when I do.

    Problem is, there are so many reasons we “need,” social media, like connecting w out of state relatives, promoting this or that, events, and quite a few other excuses I have chosen to validate its use for.

    It has become a new drug of sorts. I’m actually going to the New Orleans Museum of Art in the morning with my kiddies and dh…I think I will challenge him to leave his phone in the car with me… And I will look disdainfully at all other device stricken parents…jk…thanks for posting!

    • I hope you stick to it.. it’s super hard, but when you actually fight the urge and leave the technology alone for a little bit, you don’t really miss much 🙂

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  8. Yes to everything you said. I agree it’s scary and sad we need things like a day to disconnect. I’m thinking more and more about how attached I am to my phone. I don’t even do half the things I can do (instagram and Foursquare, for example, are not my thing), but I am overly connected to the damn thing.

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