I have an addiction and I know I’m not alone. Surely you can easily guess what it is — because I bet you’re just as addicted to your iPhone, iPad and/or computer.
Living in an age were we are so easily connected has made things easier — but on the flip side technology has made parenting harder. It’s too easy to plug our children into these devices so we can go back to our distractions. Thinking about my two boys, I’m little alarmed that Sunbeam knew who to navigate the iPhone by the time he was 15 months old. By the time he was 20 months old, Firecracker would run into my bedroom, find the iPad, turn it on and find a video on NetFlix without any help.
In February I heard Jon Acuff speak about ending phone conversations and turning off our phones before we walk through the doors at night so we can “arrive” and be with our family. A lot of attendees were deeply affected by his insight and walked out of that Blissdom Conference realizing that they needed to make a few changes.
One of those people was Mandy at Biblical Homemaking. Last month she created a 12 hour 10-10 Challenge where she disconnects from the internet for 12 hours so she can focus on her children. She makes a good point: we’re so distracted by everything in our lives that we’re not focusing on the kids and we’re missing their childhood.
Just this week I’ve caught snippets of interviews on NPR via The Diane Rehm Show and Fresh Air that discuss today’s technology and how it’s impacting our children. The truth is, studies haven’t been conducted yet to know how smart phones affect our children’s brains.
Another truth: we don’t know how being plugged in as a family is going to affect our children 10, 15, 20 years from now. We’re treading in new territory here.
However I bet we can all agree that constantly answering the phone, checking our email and Facebook, and catching up on the latest news online isn’t a positive impact on our children.
I’m going to join Mandy’s challenge and disconnect during the hours my children are awake. Knowing what my friends on saying on Facebook just isn’t as important as hearing what my boys are saying to me right now, and they say some pretty funny things.