I appreciate the article written by Erin Anderssen of the Globe and Mail. Cell phones and smartphones are useful tools but their overuse is creating an epidemic of distance, isolation and uninvolvement within family relationships. We often condemn yesteryear’s dad who came home after work, put his feet up on his favourite ottoman and read the paper or watched TV all evening. Yet is this not what we do while texting our buddies, checking our email or tweeting what we just ate for dinner? Maybe things haven’t really changed. Today’s smartphones have simply replaced the newspaper (except the smartphone is everywhere, not just the living room). Both are indicative of where our attention is not.
Our kids are watching us text, email, voicemail or tweet our time away and they know we are not focused on them. Then we complain one day that they are not talking with us. They will be texting, emailing and Facebooking their life for all to read. And some may do their best to keep dad and mom from being privy to their posts. Who is the responsible one here? We get such precious little time with them (some of us less than others). Can we not put the phone away, turn it off, or at least mute it when we are home or out with the kids?
What about you? How do you think our phone-based culture is influencing the family?