Posted by Dexi
You may often think back to times when smart phones did not exist. What did you do for entertainment while you were in line at Walmart? What did you do to pass the time on the toilet? How many minutes did you waste jotting down or printing off MapQuest directions?
Did you pay more attention to your kids?
I’m going to lay it flat out: my phone obsession causes my children to suffer.
I’ve been zoned out scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, seeing the same posts for the twelfth time, when I’m interrupted by an AHHHHHHHH! I look to my right and see my one and a half year old falling off of a chair and crashing to the floor beneath her. Or maybe it’s a little less serious and she instead has ripped every butt wipe out of the package, littering the entire living room, because I am absorbed in my silly online world.
Now, that’s a pretty ballsy (and embarrassing) thing to admit to the masses. But I know I’m not the only one who has compromised my child’s well-being while staring at the same ol’ Kermit image with perhaps a different saying, such as this:
Sometimes you may even justify it: Well, I was reading an article about how cow’s milk is bad for my toddler, so it’s OK if I was on my phone for a few minutes instead of hanging out with them.
And I think that is fine sometimes. Everything is OK in moderation, right? But I am so bad. It’s an addiction. A dependence. Plainly, it’s a problem.
“Mom!! Why won’t you answer me?” my three year old will ask.
“Mom! You not listening to me!”
And she’s right. I haven’t heard a word she has said, because of what? Because I’m doctoring up a picture of HER on Instagram. I’m ignoring her for a picture of HER.
I used to hate smart phones. I remember telling my husband, probably before he was even my husband, that I never wanted him to have a smart phone, because he would be on it all of the time. But it’s me who is wasting my life away on a cellular device. He’s actually very good about not over-using his Samsung Galaxy S7 Active.
And I once watched an episode of True Life on MTV. I think the title was “True Life: I’m Addicted to my Phone.” I recall seeing a young woman eating at a restaurant with her family. She got very upset with her husband/boyfriend, whatever he was, when he snatched her phone away. She snapped at him something like, “You made me miss Darcy’s latest post on my newsfeed!” I laughed at her and thought she was ludicrous. I would never be like that.
And now I am.
Sometimes we may say, “I’m too busy,” or “I have too much going on. I don’t have time to cook dinner.” But are we really that busy, or are we just on our phones too freaking much?
So how do I bring this madness to a halt?
I’ve tried deleting all of my overused apps. I’ve turned off my notifications. Last week I told my husband that I would not use my phone when I was with our kids. It always works for a few days, but then I go back to my old habits.
I need someone to hold me accountable. I need you to hold me accountable. If you know me in real life and you see me on my phone excessively, call me out on it. If you see me posting on Facebook more than a couple of times a day, please, give me a proverbial kick in the arse. I promise I won’t be mad or hold it against you. I’m begging you told tell me.
And if you have the same problem as I do, please, ask others to also hold you accountable. Our kids deserve it. Our society needs it.
I just told my husband that I was writing a blog post about being on my telephone too much. His response? “Did you use your phone to write the post?” Har har, Benjamin.