How many times a day to you pick up your phone? Or better question: when you do pick up your phone, how long do you spend on it? I'm sad to say that I'm on my phone way too often. Even if I think I'm just going to check something quick, I find myself in an endless loop of scrolling.
Don't get me wrong; I think technology is great and we are lucky that we can connect with people so far away, but sometimes I wonder what it does to the close relationships in our lives. I'll answer a text from someone hours away while at dinner with a friend right across the table. What kind of message does that send?
One mom named Brandie Wood knew she was spending too much time on her phone, but she didn't know how much it affected her kids. One day, she decided to do an experiment and what she found was extremely eye opening.
Today I did an experiment, I watched my boys play. As I sat quietly in the corner of the room I tallied how many times they looked at me for various reasons: to see if I saw their cool tricks, to seek approval or disapproval for what they were doing, and to watch my reactions. I couldn't help but wonder if I was on some sort of technology what message would I have been sending? 28 times my angels would have wondered if the World Wide Web was more important than them. 28 times my boys would have not received the attention most adults are searching for. 28 times my loves would have questioned if they were alone emotionally. 28 times my kids would have been reassured that who you are online is what really matters.
In a world where we are accepted as who people perceive us to be and not who we really are, in a world where validation comes from how many followers or likes we have, in a world where quality time with loved ones is being replaced by isolation and text messages from the other room, I beg you to be different. Please put down your technology and spend some time with your family & loved ones. The next generation of children is counting on us to teach them how to be adults, don't be too busy on social media, you never know who is watching and what message you are sending.
The message is very powerful. There were 28 times that day her kids looked over to see if she was looking. Any other day they would have looked over and thought their mom didn't care enough to pay attention. The message resonated with Facebook users, and many echoed Wood's concerns.
"What woke me up one day...is I was on my phone. My 4 year old was beside me talking to me and showing me things," Megan Ann shared. "I would glance up every now and then with an almost monotoned "uhuh" "yeah. Good job" and he finally said "Mom..will you please get off Facebook and watch this with me?" I looked up. Looked at him. Felt ashamed..and said "Yes. Yes I absolutely will." and I put that phone down. It sucked. I love my kids more than anything. I've never felt any type of feeling close to this feeling of love for them...and there I was being asked by my own child to put down a distraction so that I could give him a little bit of quality time and attention that he deserved from his mother."