I haven't figured this out yet . . .

Put Down Your Stupid Phone!

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I went to the Children’s Museum with my kids today and was reminded of why I sometimes don’t like technology. And people.

We had the unfortunate timing of going to the museum when ten or so schools happened to be there. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well-behaved the hundreds of kids that were there were. Especially considering how few adults seemed to be escorting them.

A boy of about nine was running to catch up with his class and knocked C over as she was walking across his path. He immediately had the good sense to stop, turn around, and give a very sincere apology for knocking her over.

I couldn’t say I was as impressed with the behavior of one of the parental chaperones I repeatedly came across.

The reason this boy was running to catch up with his class was because he hadn’t noticed they’d moved on. He didn’t notice they’d moved on because the chaperone that was with this boy and several other children, was too busy looking at her phone to notice that the class had moved on without them. She didn’t notice when the boy knocked C over either.

Only a minute later, when she was standing there alone, did she notice that she needed to catch up. Every time I saw the group that this woman belonged to, she was looking down at her phone doing who knows what.

I wanted to say something, but a) it was one a teacher’s responsibility, and b) my kid wasn’t among those she was supposedly chaperoning.

If my children had been among a group being chaperoned by that woman, I would have been livid. This was a middle-aged woman, not some twenty year old kid, and she should have known better.

The upsetting thing about this is that I see it more and more. I was at a gym class with C one day and one of the dads was too busy playing on his iPhone to pay attention to his daughter. Several times when he’d look up, she’d be more than halfway across the room doing something potentially dangerous.

Put your phones down people and pay attention to the real world that’s going on around you!

Seriously, what is happening on your phone that is so important that you can’t put it away? I’ve asked this question to other people and the number one response I get back is, “work.” My response to that is, “go to work then!” I mean, if this woman was doing something for work, why was she chaperoning a school field trip? Has the world gone so mad that bosses no longer understand that if you take a day off to be with your kids, you shouldn’t have to respond to e-mails and text messages?

She was taking a few pictures, so more likely she was posting a photo to Facebook, or messing around with Instagram.

I get it, technology’s addictive. And if you want to be a tech zombie, that’s your business. But when you let it interfere with attention that you should be paying to more important things, like your kids, especially in public places, you need a slap in the face.

I’m not perfect at this either. I sometimes pay more attention to my devices than I should, and I always hate myself when I catch myself doing it. In the time that it took me to take this photo of G,

C managed to run behind me and climb into this tunnel.

I had to stop taking pictures because as soon as I’d stopped to take a photo of one of the kids, the other would be fifty feet in the other direction.

I just can’t justify the use of technology, even to capture a memory, if it’s going to remove me from the experience. That’s no way to live. So put down your stupid phones people! And come back to the real world.

5 comments on “Put Down Your Stupid Phone!

  1. nancy navas
    February 8, 2012

    a lot of truth here.

  2. Barron
    February 8, 2012

    Well said! Smartphones have their owners connected 24/7 and most of the time they’re messing around on the internet not doing any “work.” I do wish all smartphone owners realized that there are times when one must disconnect from the ‘net… and the most important time is when you’re involved in human interaction of any kind, especially with your loved ones.

  3. kierrajanay
    February 15, 2012

    Many parents should read this… I was one of those children with the parent that was ADDICTED to their cell phone and still is. I could have a conversation with my mother and she would only hear one sentence. I hated it so bad growing up until now when I have my god-daughter or any other child. Unless its important such as an Emergency the phone will either not be answered or you get a “I’ll call you back”. I’d rather be caught up in capturing the moments I can’t get back of her than talking on a cell phone about nothing.

    • mrmomman
      February 18, 2012

      That’s so unfortunate to hear. Technology of any kind can be an addiction and we don’t even realize it. Children should always be more important, but addictions have a funny way of blinding us from the facts.

  4. Pingback: Enough With Devices Already « mrmomman

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2012 by in Family, Parenting, Photography and tagged , , , , , , .
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