Monday, August 22, 2011

Look around not down!

I've been wanting to write a post about how I don't text and how I don't have a fancy blackberry type phone.  I've put it off because I know I will seem like an old fogy.  I'm not with the times.  And how it's just socially the norm.  BUT people I just can't keep quiet any longer!

I took my kids to a popular town park today.  It was the first time this summer that we've gone simply because it's a distance from our house and we have a new swing set that the kids enjoy.  I couldn't believe that sight all around me.  I literally felt like I was in a hidden camera show... I was in disbelief staring at all the parents.... all but one were on their phones staring at screens.

The first time I noticed was when I arrived.  Two ladies were sitting in the gazebo on their gadgets.  Then I noticed another Mom walking around with one in her hand, checking it often.  I saw her reading and saying to her 2ish year old son, "down down down" as he went down the rolly slide.  Sure she was talking to him, but that is not interacting!
Then I saw a Dad watching his child play in the sandbox.  Later he was in the gazebo too, on his gadget.  And I can't forget the lady who was good enough to stand next to her child while she spun in the little strawberry cup thing.  When the child moved on to something else, she followed barely looking up from her gadget.
At one point there were FIVE out of 7 parents on their fancy phones and I wished I had a camera with me capture the moment.
It was pathetic.
They were expressionless zombies.  Is this how they want their children to remember them?  Do they really think they are spending quality time with their kids at the park??
I think cell phones are great for calling a friend to say "Hey I'm at the park, wanna meet me?"  Or even if a Mom is burnt out and she needed to get out and just let the kids run around.  But honestly I don't think that was the case with these people.
Is checking in with people on Facebook or texting more important that being present in that moment in  your life?
In 10 years are you going to wish you were on your gadget more or that you spent more time talking to your children, your family and your friends?
This is why I don't own a fancy gadget. I can wait til I'm home to use the internet.
This is why I do not text.  Messages can wait til I check my emails.
Nothing is that urgent.
If it was then I'd get a call.
I realize I am behind the times by not texting but I can't be the only one looking around me seeing how pathetic society is becoming.
We need to get our nose out of our gadgets and be more present with the people IN FRONT OF us.

I felt so overwhelmingly sad when I left the park today.
And I had to share.  Because maybe someone reading this just didn't think of this before.
Look around not down!

Disclaimer:  
I am in no way the perfect Mom.  I ignore my kids plenty.  But I am aware of the time I spend and am always trying to be better.  And I know my own temptations well enough to know that I shouldn't own a crackberry.

7 comments:

In Light of the Truth... said...

I second this! It ESPECIALLY bothers me at restaurants! Are you eating with the person you sitting across from, or are you eating with the person in your phone?!! BE with one another!! I am NOT going to let my teen {in the future} join the craze of texting. I am guilty of the "quick checks" too, in the middle of movies at home and whatnot, and I hate it. It's literally an addiction I don't really know how to quit! It takes so little time to check, it seems easier to do than to have the thoughts of it eating away at me! It's RIDICULOUS how it sounds!

Kathy said...

I agree, but I also think being on the computer is just as bad. I find myself more addicted to computer time than phone/text time. I use texting to keep in touch with quick, easy messages to ppl, not to disconnect from the rest of life. I think that society {and ESPECIALLY new England!} is becoming more and more unfriendly towards each other, and people would rather look at a screen then have to make eye contact and conversation with others. You see it everywhere -- stopped at a red light, waiting for a doc appt, waiting for the bus to come, pretty much everywhere ppl are using their phones to keep them occupied so they won't have to talk to any real ppl - sad!

Mary said...

I absolutely agree Kathy! The home computer sucks me in regularly! But that's a whole other discussion. haha!
And the whole thing you're bringing up about when someone is waiting, I didn't even think of. Humm...
I was more venting about when someone is out with another person they know and they don't interact.
I actually don't think it's pathetic when someone is alone and wanting to kill time.
But you bring up a good point about losing all interaction. Def good to think about that too. Thanks for sharing.
And Sarah, the restaurants! Yes! So true! Sad and very rude. It's like opening a book when someone is sitting across from ya. Plain ole rudeness.

Kales said...

Couldn't agree more with you Mary!! I make a conscious effort to never be on my phone when I'm out doing stuff with my kids. The only time my phone comes out of my pocket is to use the camera on it if I haven't lugged my SLR out that day. Or if it rings....
I am not so strict at home and check FB and twitter and email too many times a day!! Perhaps the solution is to have set times during the day when I can put aside 5 minutes to check and then the phone goes away at all other times. This is a huge problem in our society and really needs to be addressed. I've seen teenagers who can't go two hours without checking their phone or computer. That's pathetic.

Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

i'm nearly certain i'm the only one of my friends who doesn't text. i refuse to give in. texting irks me like crazy....have a real conversation already!!

Lisa said...

Mary,

Well said! It all comes down to balance, I do text and do have a phone with all kinds of bells and whistles but I am not attached to it. I use my phone mostly for work, and have to make a conscious effort to ignore it when I am spending time with my family and friends. We all have things that can distract us from what we should be doing. Thanks for the reminder to be aware of what steals our time.

Anonymous said...

I am guilty of being addicted to the computer when at home and have a sense of impending regret....I know the kids will grown up all too soon and I will wish for every minute back to spend with my babies that I instead squandered checking blogs/new/emails.

Now that I confessed, I totally agree with you, it is ridiculous what is happening in our society with those fancy gadgets. Parents themselves, and then the folks who outfit their kids with the latest technology starting in kindergarten. Are you kidding me??? I am so old fashioned that I still call my cell phone my car-phone and usually leave it in the car.

Also, to pass along a tip that has greatly increased our family time: We turned the ringer off of the house phone, if it is important people will leave a message....wow, we now have uninterrupted meals, conversations, game time, story time...silence, what a blessing.