Give The Phone A Break: Remembering We Are Alive

Even before I became a mami, I started noticing a new state of “normal”: people, in movie theaters, out to dinner, in the park, in the car, at parties – even walking around on the street together – all with their noses buried in their phones.

No aspect of life, occasion, nor situation is free of this epidemic. I passed a family outside “together” a couple of days ago while I was on a walk – the dad was cleaning a fence, and the two kids were playing near the mother, who sat at a table, completely engrossed in her phone. At church, at the dinner table, at my cousin’s funeral. My brother just came to visit for my father’s birthday for four days, for the first time in two years, and spent almost the entire trip on his phone.

It’s such a widely-accepted phenomena that hardly anyone even thinks it’s rude anymore, or that it means someone isn’t paying attention.

The truth is, though, they’re missing out on life. They are only given a certain amount of time, to live and love and make memories, and they are actively choosing to remove themselves from what is right in front of them, trading time they will never have back for an electronic object. And when some time has passed (because time doesn’t wait just for someone to check their Facebook or email or look up some random information or watch a ridiculous video), and that person who spent most of their waking moments engaged with their phone looks around, at the end of their life, will they be thinking about their life’s worth of Facebook comments, how many LOLs they typed, those pink earmuffs they bid for and didn’t get on eBay, and all of their spam?

Even greater than in relation to adults, or older kids, I believe the suffering will be of the children. All those little sweeties – taking their first steps, learning to talk, learning how to interact – who will teach them, if we are too busy with the bottomless pit of our phones? Will we decide to let electronic devices raise them, creating new generations of technology addicts so we don’t feel so guilty that the time is just flying by? So we don’t feel like we are neglecting them?

I want Mr. Sweetie to know how to sit and enjoy a breeze, or his papa’s fingers running through his hair. I want him to know the joys of pillow fights and tickle fights and soccer games, exploring barefoot outside and hide and seek. I want him to value conversation, and the world in front of him, over mindless videos and everyone else’s opinions.

I want him to live, and to love life, not be bored by it because it isn’t bright enough or funny enough or moving fast enough, or because there aren’t enough blaring lights and sounds emanating from it. I want to teach him about how the world was before the Internet took over, before we let technology rob us of our connection with ourselves and others. If the Internet went down tomorrow, or there was no more electricity, I would want him to be able to survive, happily, without missing a beat.

I am cutting back my technology time to moments when Mr. Sweetie is asleep, with the exception of taking a few photos with my phone every so often. I want to be able to remember clearly all of his little expressions and sounds, the smell of his hair, his tiny body napping next to me, every milestone and precious moment – because, one day, far too soon, he will be a grown man, and I will be at the end of my life, and he deserves, just as much as I do, to know that I am thinking of how precious the time was when he was a baby, a child, a teen, and not thinking about how many Likes there were on a video of a dog wearing a crash helmet.

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time on your electronic devices, even unwittingly? Are there some other things you can do to pass the time with more presence in your life? How do you think this would improve your life? Please help us all help each other, and leave a comment in the space below! Thanks for reading!

 

Encouraging Empowered Mamis Everywhere To Do What They Do

Mami

Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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