I wonder what it was like to be in a relationship before Facebook, Candy Crush and text messages ruled the world. I would like to think that people sustained eye contact during conversations. People surely had more intellectual discourse. Active engagement occurred when people were together – they listened with our the distraction of dings, whistles and vibrations. They responded thoughtfully without having to be torn away from a miniature screen. People interacted in-person. What a world that must have been, and how differently relationships must have been…
Of course, short of some sort of technological catastrophe, I will never know what that is like.
I feel as though my generation has lost bits of its humanity for many reasons, but technology is behind most of them. Those are arguments that could go one for days. Right now, I’m concerned with our inability to converse for more than 30 minutes – or even 10 minutes – without checking our phones. How ridiculous!
I am no innocent party, mind you. I am equally as addicted to Facebook as the average 26 year old woman. I have spent hours mindlessly flipping through Pinterest. I’m not much for games on my phone unless they are word games, but that has more to do with a lack of skill than a lack of interest. I spend more hours on my phone than I get to see my daughter on week nights.
I SPEND MORE HOURS ON MY PHONE THAN I GET SEE MY DAUGHTER ON WEEK NIGHTS.
That is ridiculous.
HOS and I have had “conversations” when the only eye contact were quick glances up from screens. We make life decisions with our eyes down instead of looking up and looking forward.
What is wrong with us?! (Us being the collective generation.)
It’s likely that I romanticize the pre-smart phone era as a magical land with improved relationships. I know that the world has always had its distractions, but I doubt any have been as in-your-face as this.
When I visit my dad, it’s a phone-free zone, mostly. It’s not a rule in his house, but a God-given gift. His home is an a little valley and the reception is terrible! Count your blessings, dad.
Of course, I could connect to the Internet and access most things that way, but I choose not to because I enjoy the temporary separation from my awful relationship with my iPhone. I can better enjoy the limited time with my family. It is truly a gift.
I think it’s time I brought this to my house. In a drastic move, I could purchase a cell phone jammer to truly disable my connectivity… Or, a more sane approach will be to put my phone away when I walk in the door. The sound will be on in case of emergencies, but the phone itself doesn’t need to be within an arms length.
I want my time with my child to outweigh my time spent on this piece of hardware.
I want my time spent with HOS to really be with HOS.
I want my family to know what it means to spend time together and not just time next to one another.
It may be twelve days late, but I believe this will be the best resolution I could execute for me and my family.
In 2014, I will limit the amount of time I spend on my phone at home to no more than one hour per day. This phone time can only be used while Charli is sleeping.
May my life be better for it!
How do you think limiting phone time would impact your life?
I’m surprised–and maybe a little pleased– that our isolation could be considered a God-given gift! I’m not sure I even realized that you guys weren’t on your phones as much as usual when you are in Mason, but I’m pretty sure that I like it that way. We really treasure the story-swapping, reminiscing, banter, and general catching up on each other’s lives that we get when you kids are home.
But you are right about yours being a new generation of tech users, and ours is not! Yes, we are a step further into it than Carolyn and her generation, but not where you are. We are still disconcerted when we are talking to someone and we notice that he is checking his phone or texting. I think that is considered normal and not discourteous by under-30’s, so I understand that. But we over-60’s do notice and appreciate relaxed, face-to-face full attention!
We certainly aren’t models in the conversation department–with our tv blaring and laptops on our laps, but we do try to spend some quality time every day just side by side with nothing but a cup of coffee to distract us from each other. And I know that you and Shane have to fight very hard for those minutes of quality time with your work schedules. I admire your resolution to find that time to really be “with” each other and Charli. Our time with those we love is so short–our kids, our grandparents, our parents, spouses–there’s never enough time.
So, with your dad’s aversion to cell phones, for whatever reason, I guess we won’t have much danger of phones taking over our lives. And whether it’s the black hole or our fascinating conversations, we will plan on plenty of face-to-face, heart-to-heart conversations, with maybe Charli’s antics being the only distraction!