Screwed by screen time


I wish I could say that it was only kids these days that are bad about being addicted to their smartphone but in reality, I’m just as guilty. I justify my addiction by telling myself that I am doing “important” work like checking emails, writing for my blog, and texting. But the truth is that regardless of my excuse, my baby girl still suffers the consequences.

Maybe it’s time this mama puts down the phone.

See, I can think of a couple different reasons I need to ditch my phone.

Babies spend all day,everyday with the only goal: learn. One of the best ways that they learn is through face-to-face interaction. This is how babies pick up on important skills such as language, emotions, social behavior. It’s all about that undivided attention that tells the child “Hey, you matter.” And this can’t happen when a smart phone is in between the child and their parent.  Studies show that children do react poorly to parents interrupting bonding time with their phone.

And then there is the mom guilt that starts to take root in life. As baby grows up, it’s all too easy to start wishing you spent just a little more time present, and in the moment with your child rather than checking instagram for the 14th time that day. It opens up the idea that there has to be a better way to spend quality time to make the most of it.  Nostalgia is a great motivator.

Then there is the simple reason that social media really isn’t that worthwhile or interesting. Why are we all so addicted?

Whatever the reason, there are a couple ways to kick technology to the curb without ridding yourself of it completely.

1.Set aside time every day to be “phone-free”

This can be done during meal times, during scheduled family outings, or after a certain time at night. This gives you the opportunity to slow down and enjoy time together without any distraction. You can focus solely on family time and commit to being present. This also helps drive home the value that “family is important” in the home when children see parents put them first.

2. Turn off the push notifications

Whether or not you have kids, this is probably a good thing to do anyway. As someone obsessed with clearing notifications,  it’s a welcomed relief to not see new notifications pop up several times a day from the most random apps such as Angry Birds or Waze. Not only does it increase your attention span but you’ll feel that gravitational shift towards your phone weaken. It’s out of sight, out of mind. You likely won’t miss out on a thing by turning off notifications because you’ll still check all your important updates when you are on your phone.

3. Download the Forest app and set goals for yourself

Real talk here, I am kind of addicted to this app. The premise is that you set a timer and if you can go the entire duration, you grow a tree in your forest. If you leave the timer screen before the time is up, your tree dies. There is literally no useful purpose for this app other than to wean yourself off your phone in timed increments. However, I find something oddly satisfying about the whole process as I watch my garden grow.

Technology isn’t inherently bad. It doesn’t have detrimental impacts on our families or childrens. I personally love watching my daughter take selfies and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to connect and communicate with other people after a stressful day. The problem lies when we fall into the hole of mindlessly scrolling through our news feed for hours. We could be using that time for much better things.

I know I won’t instantly be able to adhere to all these tricks to curb my smart phone usage but I’m happy for any help if gives. Any time spent off my phone is time spent engaging my daughter. Those are the moments I live for.

One Comment on “Screwed by screen time

  1. This is a great lesson to use things in moderation. I recently boycotted all social media, including my phone, on Valentine’s day and it was extremely difficult

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