Moms, Dads…. I’ve got to say I’m a bit overloaded lately. Is it just me? I feel like I have messages coming at me every which way: family, Facebook, Instagram, television, email, snaps, texts…. it’s too much sometimes.
Lately, I’ve really been thinking hard about it. I took it upon myself to do some research and hard thinking about how all of this information coming at us is going to impact us and our kids in the long term. Because really — do we need to know what our friends from high school are eating for dinner every night? Once in awhile it’s fun to see, but for a lot of people scrolling through social media has become such a bad habit. How many times during a family party have you looked around to see everyone on their phones, including adults? My guess is a lot. It’s just that all of this information is so easy for us to access, right? Our phone is usually always within arm’s reach.
As I was digging, I found some interesting information. Did you know that when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad back in 2010, he told everyone that they should use it often and for everything. Makes sense — he was a businessman and wanted to make money. But did you also know that Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids use the iPad in their home? Yep, it’s true — and a bit shocking. In 2014, Nick Bilton, a New York Times reporter, asked Jobs whether his children liked the new device. Jobs replied, “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
What? The creator of the iPad didn’t let his kids use it? Am I the only one blown away by this? Shocked, I decided to dig more and found that most tech executives have very strict rules for their kids using devices, according to the New York Times article.
Now, I don’t know about your kids, but my daughter loves her iPad. I mean, she loves it a little too much. We still let our kids use technology, but we’ve really scaled back. My new phrase is “disconnect to connect.” As we go to grab the device, we have to ask ourselves, “What else could we be doing instead of this to connect with ourselves or others?”
Here’s another question: How long do you think you’re on your device each day? Take a guess… do you have a number? Now double that. That’s probably the true number. I downloaded a free app called “MOMENT” for the iPhone that tracks your usage and it’s shocking. The average person in the U.S. in 2017/18 spends four hours a day on their phone! And that’s adults; kids are higher. Using the app was a nice, eye opening way of proving that I really do need to pull back — and so do my kids.
Of course, our phones and social media have brought a lot of good, too. l love being able to connect with listeners, family and friends. It’s all about balance. I know many use it for work, too, and that’s all good — however, again, in balance.
Since summer is almost here and we’ll have more time around the house, I wanted to make a list of things you and your family could be doing instead of looking at your phone or tablet.
- Read a magazine
- Make a to-do list
- Do something on your to-do list
- Make a bucket list
- Clean out your closet
- Play outside
What else can you add to the list? Take it as a challenge: disconnect to connect.