Technology is a beautiful thing. It has the ability to make our lives easier, reconnect us with old friends, and capture precious moments with the quick touch of a button. It is also an amazing thing to use when disciplining your children. Threaten to take the technology away, or worse, do it, and my kids are begging and pleading for a second chance. They are “forced” to use those brains of theirs to entertain themselves. GASP!
Here’s the problem. I like my iPhone too. And when I have a few moments that aren’t filled with anything, I pull out my phone and do a quick social media check. And sometimes, when my moments are filled with something, I still pull out my phone and do a quick social media check. Then I started hearing things like, “mom, I’m trying to tell you something”, and “mom, did you just hear what I said?” Those comments gave me a reality check. I was on my phone too much. I hadn’t heard what my children said, because I was too engrossed in an instagram video. I knew she wanted to tell me something – but how many people had just liked my Facebook photo?
So I decided to do as I said, and I grounded myself from my phone. We were going on vacation and I decided I wasn’t going to use that phone for anything other than answering text messages. I wasn’t even going to check my email. Because the things that were most important to me were going to be right in front of my face for 6 days. While sitting in the airport, within the first 20 minutes, I really wanted to get my phone out. All my family had their technology devices to occupy them. Along with 98% of the rest of the airport occupants. And I found myself with 45 minutes to kill – without technology. So I went for a walk.
Had I not grounded myself from my iPhone I would have missed that man talking extremely loudly about some super important business decisions in his flowered shorts and straw hat. I would have missed the sweet goodbye of what looked like a single mom, sending off her kids on a plane, to see their father in another state. I also would have missed looking at those really large metal tubes with wings and watching them take off effortlessly and gracefully.
After the first day it got easier. I found myself relaxed, completely attentive to those little people I call mine, and I learned even more about them. We had conversations that might have been nonexistent had I been buried in a screen. I had breakfast on the deck with my nephew where we discussed the nature hidden in the forest behind us. I read a book! (Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride. Read it now!) I found myself more relaxed. I fell asleep faster. And here is the kicker – I didn’t miss one thing because of it.
I haven’t given up the iPhone all together. I still browse it every now and then. But it’s different now. It’s not controlling my free time. We only have our people for 1/5 of their lives. That’s it, my mommy friends. What everyone else is doing isn’t important – especially when they are in your presence. Ground yourself from your smart phone. You’ll be glad you did.
What do you think? Can you ground yourself from your phone?