Part Four: Technology and Tots


For my final post in the technology series,  I wanted to turn the focus towards us, the parents, and our relationship with technology. We all are aware of the implications technology has on our children, but what about the implications it has on us, the adults? In my opinion, we are the worst abusers of technology. How does our use of technology effect not only us personally, but our relationship with our children and our partners?

I believe its safe to say that parents (or all adults for that matter) are utterly obsessed with the abundance of technology. With the daily use of social media; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook…To the obsession with smart phones, and the hours spent hypnotized surfing on the web. There is not an hour that goes by that we are not sucked into these technological black holes. The minutes lost on these devices quickly turn into hours; hours that could have been spent enjoying our loved ones rather than wasted on such frivolous devices.

I am not immune to this technological dependence, in fact that is why I wanted to write this post. I realize my interest has turned into an obsession, not only for me, but for my husband as well. At times, ok let’s be honest, most times, Ryan and I are completely sucked into our computers, phones or iPads and go hours without talking to one another. If one of us were to strike up a conversation, the response would most likely be “huh” or even worse, complete silence. We both get so absorbed with our mindless surfing that all senses are turned off and we completely tune one another out, not even bothering to look up from the computer to provide a respectful response. Often times I find myself getting angry with Ryan, frustrated that after a long day at work he comes home and instantly turns to the computer, rather than engaging with me. But he could say the same thing about me, and he’s often expressed feelings of resentment towards my absorption in the computer as well. Its truly sad that the little time we have together is spent surfing on the internet, rather than discussing our day or being affectionate towards one another.

Then there is the relationship with our children that is being effected. How many times have you seen a parent completely mesmerized by their phone at the playground, paying more attention to their email when they should be playing with their child? I mean come on, we’ve all been there; the one handed swing, or the zombie response to our child, while we continue perusing our Instagram. I sadly even witnessed a child getting hurt at the playground, crying out for their mom’s attention, while the parent sat back oblivious, surfing on the web. Nothing like witnessing this event to question your own obsession.

Our children are craving our attention. These special moments spent playing with them are crucial, not only for our relationship, but their development as well. It is up to us to set boundaries, not only for the child, but for ourselves. How can we expect to to lead by example, when we are having trouble setting our own limitations?

Becoming aware of our addiction has been the first step in our family, just being conscious of how often we use our devices has help make us realize how much we truly need to disengage. We have been so diligent limiting Berlin’s technology use, but we have completely ignored our own obsessions.  For now we plan to put in place a few hours each night that are technology-free and designate parenting time as sacred, digital-free time. Berlin deserves my undivided attention {and so does my partner}.

My hope is that all parents will step back and reevaluate their technology use and enjoy the present reality that is in front of them.

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