Monday, July 2, 2018

I'm Going to Say it Again

Put. Down. Your. Phone.

I'm trying to come at this without judgment. I'm really thinking of the fact children grow up so fast. I want parents to know how fast it goes and how much they will miss if they have their faces in their freaking phones all the time.

What sparked it this time? The mom who paid ZERO attention to her excited 4th grader who was trying to show her what he learned in computer class because she was too busy texting the. whole. time. Nope. The 3-year-old who tried for 20 minutes to engage her mother who was to busy texting to give engagement to said 3-year-old? Nope. Those sparked THIS POST.

Today's concern comes from a Facebook post I saw where dad was filming the toddler who was trying to engage mom who was too busy on her phone to engage with the toddler.

I'm telling Y'all, I don't like this behavior. I can't help it, I do. not. like. it.

I get there are some parents who use their phones as a connection to their business. It's understandable these moms and dads have to respond to texts and emails from work. Phones are great when we have video chats with loved ones who live far away. Emergencies happen and we can connect quicker which is great. However, I still don't think we should be on our phones so long that it begins to take the place of engaging with children.

Is it becoming a cliche' to say we went out to eat and saw families sitting there on their phones instead of interacting with one another? If so, that's sad.

Yes, I am guilty of having my phone out when the grands are around but that's to take pictures and I do not keep it in their face the whole time they're with me. I will give a quick glance if I hear a text message come in but that's just to see if it was their parents if not, the text is ignored. One thing my grandkiddos do not have to do is compete with my phone for attention. But that's just me and I think I may fast becoming a minority on this issue.

So, what are some things we can do to help us put those phones down and pay attention to one another?

  1. Phone box. Get a phone box/bag and whenever the family is doing something together, all phones go into the box until the activity is over. 
  2. Keep your phone in a different room when playing with your kiddos.
  3. Make a list of family cell phone use.
  4. Check yourself. Do you really need that much time on your phone? 99% of all text messages are not that important, Y'all. 
  5. Have phone free time at least once each day.
  6. Enlist help from an app. Yep, there's an app for that. There are apps that will allow you to block yourself from other apps and websites. An app like, CHECKY will monitor how often you check your phone and could reveal some interesting information for you. 
  7. Turn your phone off for at least an hour each day. You can set up an auto-responder.
  8. Challenge yourself with a social media free weekend. This might be quite revealing. 
  9. Remember, you do not need to be available to anyone other than your family all the time. Everyone else can wait.
  10. Also remember, a phone is never a replacement for human interaction especially with those who are right in front of your face. 

Come on, Y'all. Why is this even a thing? Why do we put our phone interaction above engaging with our family and especially our children? I see it nearly every day and yes, even within my own family. Are grandparents the only ones these kids are going to believe care enough about them to give them eye-to-eye contact? Conversation? I'll say this, I'm so glad my memories of my grandparents (and parents) are not filled with trying to get their attention. I'm glad they cared enough about me to put me ahead of watching television or talking on the phone which were the big technology distractions of that time. I knew they loved me and I didn't have to plead with them to find that out.

How do people even know their kids these days if they don't talk to them and actually pay attention to the conversation? It baffles me.

I'm very sorry for today's distracted parents who will wake up one day and wonder where their little kids went and then wonder why they have to beg for their children's attention.

Ok Y'all, weigh in!

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  1. The problem I see, is that many of the younger generation are addicted to their phones and exhibit all the signs of a junkie needing his next fix when deprived of access. It's unfortunately not uncommon for me to have to remind our daughter to put down the phone and pay attention to her son...or any of the rest of us for that matter. I nearly always have to repeat myself because she wasn't paying attention the first time. My husband complains about phones at work all the time. It's getting harder and harder to get a true day's work out of anyone because they are always on their phones. I don't think that's limited to construction, either. I see employees at the grocery store, Walmart, pretty much everywhere, with their noses glued to their screens right out in plain sight and on the job. I guess employers have decided to take what they can get?

    1. That's a good point. I see the same thing out and about and I would think being on your phone at work is a HUGE no-no. People definitely do seem to be addicted to their phones, I agree. There's a lot of life they miss out on. Unless this is life now. Which I hope is not the case.

  2. I went to a wedding on Saturday and the Preacher announced to all, to turn off their phones. The Bride & Groom wanted their attention! But at the reception the phones came out and it was sad to see.
    I did take a few cell phone pictures at the reception, but I talked to people more than most.

    1. I could be wrong but I do thing taking pictures is different from tuning out people to text others or play around on social media. It's great we can get pictures without having to remember our cameras but it is, as you say, sad to see so many focused on their phones when they could be interacting live and in color. :)

  3. I agree with you COMPLETELY! Even grandparents (older folks) can be seen in restaurants on their phones. Two white-haired couples not long ago, at Bone Fish Grill, were all four looking at their phones instead of talking with each other. It has become ridiculous and very sad.

    1. Yes, it's sad but true. Even us older folks are guilty. And I agree, it is sad to see people missing out on live interaction. What have we become?

  4. Soooo, I have children that do work via their cell phones. My worry is that they don't seem to know how to end the day. The ones who use their phones for business are responding to employee concerns and client concerns, but are missing out on family concerns. I wish there was a way to just shut them down, but I try to bite my tongue as unsolicited advice is usually not welcomed.
    I feel for my grandkids that have to compete with the business side of their parents life. It used to be you hung your worries outside the front door. Now its a constant barrage. I don't see them on the phone browsing so much as answering the dang work bell at all hours.

    I do like the ability to use the camera and document the life of the family with ease, However, I do find that when I'm fully engaged I can forget to take the photos I was hoping to take. Like all new additions to our lives there seems to be a lot of give and take. Think how odd the phone was to the first generation when ppl were getting calls for the first time in their home.

    I guess I'm hoping we learn to adjust and keep things in perspective. I'm all for the family basket/box so we all engage.
    Great post and food for thought! xoxo

    1. I do, too. And I agree. It seems the clients/co-workers/bosses/employees realize they have 24/7 access and take advantage of that. We've really got to set some boundaries even though the technology is there to make us so accessible. And yes, I know about that unsolicited advice because my mother gave it to me all the time. LOL I will give it sometimes though, because I've reached a point where I don't care how they feel about it. Ha! It's so liberating. LOL Marcy's mommy has to use her phone for work and it drives me nuts. I'm going to implement the phone basket/box here. We'll see what happens. One day these parents are going look up from their phones and the kids will be grown up. And ignoring their parents and the parents are going to wonder why.

  5. Aw well I am guilty on all charges. I am on my phone way to much. I try to put it as far away from me when people are around, like putting it in my bathroom. But I do spend way to much time on it and now that I discovered Cspan, well there you go. :) Have a lovely 4th Pam.

    1. I am, too but not when the kiddos are around. :) How are you? I haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is well out there!

  6. I've seen the same situation with my daughter in law. She disabled her Facbook account because she realized she's on her phone too much but I saw her and my granddaughter this weekend and she's still on her phone way too much. What really got to me was the screen time she's giving my 2 year old granddaughter. She sits her in front of me at the breakfast table where I'm looking forward to some time with my girl and she puts her phone in front of her to watch cartoons while she's eating! Hellooooo! Gramma who rarely sees her wants some real face time and she's got her face in a phone! I decided after they left that next time Gramma is layin' down the law. No screens at the table or while eating and all eating will be done at the table.

  7. I'm sad for the toddlers needing some attention. I watched this happen at a city park recently. A father and son (I assume) at the park but the father was too busy with his phone. His son kept coming over to me to tell me stuff. He was getting a little annoying since I was trying to focus on my grandkids. I blame the father.

    I would add #11 to your list - DON'T load Facebook on your smartphone. Ok I assume you can get to a computer sometime during your day and check FB then.

  8. You're right! We as a family don't do that but recently in Florida my one niece and her kids were on their phone the whole time at my dad's party. I barely talked with them.

  9. I understand what you're saying, all so true and then when the kids become teenagers they are as bad as the adults!


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