Our pride gets in the way doesn’t it? As I write this post there’s a little over 7 billion people in the world, but someone somewhere cares what the picture of my dinner looks like on Facebook. We Tweet where we’re at, what our plans are for the day, and who we want to win X Factor. We’re all so self consumed and self absorbed. We hope someone somewhere cares what we have to say. The other day my mom had the kids while I ran quickly to the market for something. I’m an outgoing person, and usually have a conversation with someone randomly if I’m in a line. I realized this particular day the world had changed. It was rush hour, and you could tell there were some after-5-ers grabbing something quick to take home for dinner. There must have been fifty of us, easily, and I took a look around at the eerie quiet. The only real noise was the constant beep of the checker machines. That was when I realized that every single one of us had our IPhones out, and other than my glance around, had our heads bowed over it. I was in shock. No friendly conversations to be had, but no doubt we were all busy being friendly to someone through text. Not with those where we stood.
We’re all so preoccupied with our computers, phones, IPads, IPods and the rest, that we don’t really realize that we’re really alone. Oh, yeah, my Facebook page kept me up-to-date all right with legal and encouraged snooping, but what about my kids? What about my real-life friendships? What about our marriages. My friend Jen will literally tell you she has no idea where the hours of her day go from morning until her head hits the pillow, and not even being able to keep house or cook while her kids are in school. I asked her what do you do, and she sheepishly responded with one word. Text. i could not judge. I got caught up for a minute too. While my children had independent reading, or an assignment where I wasn’t needed for a few minutes I would grab up my phone like a dehydrated camel who found an oasis. What was wrong with me? Nothing, except I was trading in moments of quiet reflection or prayer, or giggles, tickles, games, or time with my man, for the high of ‘what’s new’. I was trading in my real life.
Please don’t misunderstand me. IPhones are not evil, and I’m not taking a baseball bat to my computer either. But there will be a legacy that you leave, parents. Even those of us who chose to stay home and be full time parents can be absent. Stuck in a time warp more dangerous than soap operas or the length of time it takes to eat a box of bonbons. We don’t realize how long we’re on it as the “hold on baby” comes out of our mouths along with the “just a second sweethearts” do.
So what to do? Where do we go from here?
My friend Angie has decided not to be on her phone or texting at all after her husband gets home from work to respect their time together. That was an inspiring example to me. Another friend has chosen to have zero, zip, no TV’s, in their home at all. As for me, I’ve chosen to leave my technology downstairs while I homeschool, and delete my FB page. Wanting my kids to remember our time spent together will be well worth any sacrifice. The Like button is powerful, but the love button, the legacy button, is lasting.